Monday, February 24, 2014

 Rafał, 1st counsler in the branch presidency

This saying mean's I love you
Well to be honest...i forgot my planner, so this email could be short but i will try and remember all that went on. I guess i could start with this, that i am going back to Zion! Going back to Bydgoszcz! Święta Krowa! But i am really really sad to leave Kato. Last year when i was hear was some of the funnest but hardest times on my mission and really was where i grew the most. Then going back again was just awesome, Adrian on sunday the Branch President and the coolest member in Poland, gave a powerful talk on sunday and then all of the sudden goes well as you all know Elder Lanham has left, and Elder Harris is leaving as well, he served well for us and he will be missed, so i am a little chocking up at this point, and then he goes i invite him up to bare his testimony....Dang it Adrian. But i get up and not going to lie almost lost it. Kato really is a special place and really cant explain the love i have for it, it was an honour to serve here...twice! But about this week. so we are still working with Krzysztoff, the one who we helped stop drinking. we one tuesday sat and really talked about the Book of Mormon and he looks at us and says well i cant say its not true, it makes me feel closer to Jesus. So Krzysztoff what does that mean? He looks at me and says its gotta be true. We then talk about how in sports in order to get better you need to practice, but you need to have somthing to practice for. so he agreed to a date...March 29. It was awesome, we talk daily on the phone and he says he knows for sure the church is true and he will be baptized on the 29th. unfourtunatly, i will not be here, but his progression has beent he most humbling this of my mission. Wow i am so gratefu for the church and realy the understanding it brings me. I know the church is true. Love you all and will talk to you all later!
Elder Harris

Monday, February 17, 2014

 What shoes look like after 20 months of wearing

 Się ma Rodzino!
So to start off on sunday Elder Anderson helps Sister Hutchinson the senior couple teach primary always during 2nd hour, and then as of yesterday he will teach 3rd hour and being his companion i have to be in there with him. So we go in and usually its one kid named Natan and he is quiet and really good but one of the members brought his two grandkids, and well lets just say that i may have gone a little poza BIałą Biblią. They were so loud and crazy holy cow. they kept running in and out of the room. its really just the older one he yells and likes to play swords, and the little brother is really shy and quiet and just follows him. During the lesson the little brother starts crying and i am like whats wrong dude, i want my Grandpa so i let him and just my luck shut the door on his foot...yeah doesnt like me know. then we do a coloring game...not smart and they are trying to use the whiteboard marker on the wall, the older one is. and so i am watching him and the older one is doing good. but he wants to be funny and fake writting on the wall so i get it and throw it out the window, and so he leaves and is like whatever but then i look at the little brother ( the one i shut the door on his foot.) yeah he looks at me with this really sad crying face and goes...i waited and it was going to be my turn soon... then he starts to run off and cry...yeah Elder Harris is the greatest primary teacher ever. So that was fun and exciting. So now that you all know how horrible i am i will tell you my week! Monday we had pday but also we stayed for family home evening to help translate which was fun, we talked about Prophets and famous sayings. unfourtunatly only one member showed up, but we all made it fun. Tuesday we had zone training in Kraków, it was really good, with transfers coming up it could be the last time i see Elder Raines and Żeleźniak till i get home or until Elder Żeliźniak comes to the states. they were the aps when i was a zone leader with Tingey and we hung out with them all the time. So i got a potential one last pic with them. they go home in 2 months meaning one transfer and i am next crazy. but moving on to best topics. we were able to use what we learned in Zone training  while teaching Asia and Piotrek, our family we found. we really focused on the book of mormon, and the authority. It went really good. we read 3rd nephi 11 with them because they had questions about it and taught about the Book or Mormon and they got it. They then committed to read as a family. we met with them again on friday but just asia. it was powerful. we sat down and she has her questions about what the chapter means, and we helped her understand it. we went over the 3rd lesson which is my favorite the gospel of jesus christ. and she told us that she feals better while we met and when we leave. I know she feals the spirit. I know she felt it during that lesson becuase i did. we invited her when she finds out to be baptized and she said yes. no date yet but it was a good lesson. Krzysztoff now. we had one lesson with him and it went good. he is reading so fast already through alma in 3 weeks, and stil hasnt drank. he also told us that he called up his sister who he hasnt had contact with in years and they talked and they met up this weekend. he said it went good but missed church because he lot his keys and couldnt get to his house. we talked for like 30 minutes on the phone about the book of mormon and what does it mean if its true and, it was amazing. He wants to be baptzied we just need to set up a date and he wants to finish the book of mormon first. i love being able to talk to people on the phone. And that phone call really was amazing, even through the phone you can feel the spirit working through you. we met with tomek again to help with his english and he opened up to us about the book of mormon we talked for like a half hou and he is slowly getting interested. so thats way cool. and to end the week, we had dinner with the hutchinsons because she got called as the relif society president, so she wanted to go visit Daria. so we go and wow. it was a diffrent atomsphere than last time. she was grateful we came but really just didnt want to come back. we bore testimony and left. gave her letters from Bokinsky and Vernon and she was really really excited. But it hurt seeing that cute family in those sercumstances. There house is small and really old and has wires on the walls and just not pretty. Humbling everytime i go in there and i see her kids faces. Familes really are the best, i love mine. The weather is getting really good its sunnish here in beautiful Katowice and Sosnowiec. Grateful for the sun, grateful for the lords hand in this work i see it everyday. I love you all and have a good week!
Elder Harris

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Shawn finally got our Christmas Package. 2 months later.

Witajcie Rodzino!
This week has been really really interesting, awesome none the less. But i ahve done lots of thinking. The beginning of the week i was really thinking about Leadership and what that means. it continued through the week and what do you know it ended with a fireside about leadership. Elder Jensen who is a senior couple in warsaw 2 and the branch president as you can tell from my last transfer letters has really turned Warsaw 2 around. they in about the last 6 months last year went from 45 in scarment meeting to about 90 something. in six months they doulbed the branch, not all are recent converts we only had about 4 or 5, but it was less active work. so he came down here to Kato to have a fireside to help the members understand what he did. it was so good. he narrowed it down to 3 points of a good leader.1 Love the people you serve. 2 be humble, not only to listen to your leader, could be a mission president, the lord or a coach, but be humble to those you lead. 3 have a vision. This week as i was thinking about leadership i was looking back on what experiences i have had prior to this day. the big one that comes to mind was my role on my rugby team. be patience i hope this makes sense to you all. Being a scrum half you have a really cool job. you are the leader of the big forewards or the 8 biggest guys on the one field. yes little me. i stand behind them on defenese and order them where to go, who to attack and if people need to be in or out of the ruck. i call the foreward plays and i communicate with the fly half to see whats going on out there with the backs. when controling the forewards, if they dont do what you say its your fault for two reasons. one they either didnt hear you or they dont trust you and being big forewards they just want to go smash someone. you need to earn their trust. as you lead in a mission or in life you need to gain their trusts, by being humble enough to really let them have a say. doesnt mean you dont make decisions but if someone on your team has an idea be humble to listen. And if they cant hear you, speak up always not just when its easy to speak up. and when you do speak up make sure its what is best, study the scriputures the play book, look at what your working with on the field, and look at the invesitiagtor as a person not a state. earn your trust by love the ones you serve. Being humble is hard, but understand that the lord gives you all you have can help with that. In Rugby as well as a missionary, my companion is the eight man. he can literrally save my life on the field. he can make it so no one touches me and when we work together we can do some damage in a good way ;) the lord gives us tools and people to help us grow, use them be humble, and then have the desire have the goal. let your team know. i hope that made sense but really its helped me this week as we prepared for a great week. monday was great. usually we stay and help with the branch family home evening, but we decieded to go trakting. we get to one of the doors and we say how we have a message about eternal families and out runs this little three year old to see who is at the door. me being me and having been raised around little kids my whole life, was like ah a little girl hi whats your name. i have a little sister your age, then turned to the mom and said i am glad you have a family, can we share this message with you? and she let us in. we talked then set up and meet again and re set up. to this point not reading and is studying with the j dubs but her husband is now interested, and they are really liking what we are teaching. boom a family. First time on my mission me and my comp are teaching a family. its been going well but need to invite the spirit more. then of course we met with Krzysztoff our little former drunk who still hasnt drank in like 3 weeks! he is still really sick and cant leave the house but is reading and finally understands what we are doing and said he would be baptized after he comes to church and reads  a little more. so really the blessings are coming. also found a guy through english who we are teaching name tomek! so we have a really good teaching pool! Things are starting to pick up. One other thing we have been able to do this week is service. we helped adrian paint his bosses office. so we were busy this week. I am loving the work, starting to see the spirit work more and more. as we teach i see how our job isnt to convince them that their faith is false or that ours is true, we cant do that, one its rude and two thats the work of the Holy Ghost. we just invite and its a privelidge to do it here in zion, here in Poland. Everyone love everyone this week! Happy Valentines day! Enjoy yourselves! Trzymajcie Się!
Z Miłością
Starszy Shawn Mykel Harris

Monday, February 3, 2014

 Elder Tiner last dinner before going home from his mission 

Dzień Dobry Wszystkim,
Patience, that is a word that i have been thinking about for most of my mission if not all of it. Lets be honest i am not really a patient person, i cant sit and watch a Raiders game without analyzing it or getting upset. ( now other team fans of which i wont name understand now ) In football or rugby the other team scores on me its the end of the world and i get made which can be okay but that is besides the point. I drove really fast and really was dumb. But i have wanted to become of patient person because i dont want my wife to hate me becasue i flip out every 26 seconds you know? So i have been working on it. This transfer has been the biggest eye opener ever. We dont only need to have patience with situations that may upset us or even have to hury around everywhere, also got to be patient with the plan. the work is rather slow here and we have all week been on the streets for an average of 6 to 7 hours a day finding. its been hard but really good at the same time. I get to show the lord what i really am. who i really am. But besides all of that this week has been a great one, cant really complain about anything i am on the best team in the world and we are winning. Monday as you all know we went to Austwichwicz or however you spell it and it was really good, good to see. But tuesday we had a good district meeting, its so nice when your district participates because personally i hate lectures so why should i give one right? but the district likes talking as well so we make it work! we also had dinner with the branch president which is the missionary best friend Adrian. He is a stud. We talked about the less actives and what really to do with them and we gave me great feed back. Sunday i followed up with him and we then talked about how he was doing. he is 24 years old and has to deal with a whole branch its crazy how strong he is. He testimony is an example because he has nothing here in poland but he understands that he has all he needs. he told me that i am one of his favorite missionaries. What he doesnt understand is he is loved by every missionary who knows his name. ask any Poland warsaw missionary and they will tell you that Adrian Urban is a stud. Also this week had daily contact and two meetings with Krzystof. He is doing good but found out that he is really sick. the doctor even said that he cant go walk out on his balcony he needs to stay inside, he isnt contagaious its just the fall that he had 4 months ago and he is going throught alchole withdrawls hard core i have never seen this before. but we talked and he is really liking everything but his mom is the strongest catholic lady in the world every question i ask i get this answer no matter the question. Bez Boga nic nie robimy, ufaj Panu Bogu i on nas będzie nas kochał.( with out God we cant do anything trust God and he will love us.) Thats great Maria but what does the commadment dont kill people mean to you, and she repeats. its funny but really cant go anywere with them cant really be bold because they dont comprehend really good that we are not catholic we are a different church but boy do they love when we come over. Krzysztof, is a good man who when is healthy will be baptized he doesnt like the catholic church or the jdubs and understands but not enought to progress so we will see what happens with him. funny story really quick Elder Anderson really likes Beef Jerky which is hard to find in this country and when you find it its really pricy. but he wanted to make homemade so i was like sweet lets do it. but our stove doesnt stay open by itself so he tied a string to one of the cabinet doors and yeah it worked and tasted really good. but picture is in the other email it was so redneck it was awesome. but also the coolest thing happened on friday. well good and bad. first we finally got let in to see Daria the recent convert, who was baptized when i was first here by Bokinsky and vernon. she has been ignoring us for awhile but stopped by at  her house. first time i have seen her in a while. But she wasnt home, but her husband let us in. we talked and come to find out he is cleaning up. not drinking still smoking but he is wokring and they are getting a long. We then sit and wait in the house and their kids are home and it was the cutest thing playing with little Nadia. She is so cute and so i got a pic of her with me. But then Daria comes home and she walks in and was excited to see me, she remembered me. And to be honest she looked way healthy and like a cute little mormon mom you would see in utah i was so excited to see her. then we talk and she doesnt want to come back. she is telling us how she has been talking to someone and she is having a hard time believing that we are only blessed when we go  to church because life is getting good for her, but its not like God forgets us when we dont follow the commandments we just miss out on others. i explained that God loves her no matter what and always listens, but has given us ways to feel his love more in our lives. She is cool and said we can set up later again but yeah it was hard. Thats when patience comes in. I have been praying for her since i got here. I wanted to get her back, and finally i have a shot and cant do it. But its all according to Gods plan, like everything in this life. Cool to think thats its all planned out just got to be humble learn and choose. wybierz sprawiedliwość! naprzód do zwycięstwa! ( choose the right, foreward to victory ) Looking foreward to a good week. Also this week just found out some insane news, But President Dieter F Uchtdorf on June 15 will be visting our mission. My last sunday, i am so excited and feel lucky it will be my first time have a chance to met an apostle. Good way to go out yeah? anyways have a good week love you all and talk to you later!
Kocham Was!
Elder Harris