Monday, April 29, 2013

Tornados and Basketball

Thank you so much for the package!  The companions loved the brownies!  It was way good!

Dang mom!  A lot of stuff happened this week.  A lot of sad stuff - what's the deal?

I'm a little sad about Clint. (Cody was Clint's home teacher. Clint passed away on Sunday) He was really one of my best friends.  Could you please go up and see Margene?  Tell her that I love her and I hope that she's doing alright.  :)  Same with Brother Adams (Cody's HT Companion), go give him a hug for me.  I know how close those two were.   But like you said, it's probably ok for him to pass on, I'm happy that he's not in pain anymore.

I'll keep Lane (our young neighbor who had a heart attack this week) in my prayers too.  Holy cow.

It seems like things are a little crazy back home.  Maybe even as crazy as Anadarko!  Nahhh . . .

This week was so sick!!!

So last Monday after we emailed, we drove up to Chichasha and then to Blanchard to play some basketball with the district and I don't know what it is, but ever since I became a missionary, I'm all of a sudden MJ out on the court!  No joke.  I NEVER miss.  So we played for a bit and then came home and had dinner with our neighbors and then went out and did some tracting.  We met a guy named Drake and gave him a Book of Mormon.  He's interesting in learning about churches and so we gave him a little run down of what ours is about.  We also met with him and taught him a few other lessons this week. 

Next we met with some more neighbors Catherine and Star.  They go to the Pentacostal Church and believe in speaking in tongues or something.  So like always we asked to pray with them and while I was offering the prayer she was whispering the whole time.  It was really strange.  Anyway, they also asked us why we have to back the car out, why we always wear helmets when we bike and so on.  They were really nice and offered to cut our hair for us so we got haircuts on Friday.  Star also invited us to their youth activity at the Pentacostal Church.

Tuesday:  Our new investigator, Mary is a recovering alcoholic who is trying to find religion.  She is friends with another less active member from our branch.  Jamie is a sweet Indian lady who has these vivid dreams.  For example - she had a dream of the temple before she knew anything about the church.  She would ask Pastors to explain it and nobody could until she met a missionary.  Jamie and Mary are homies so when Mary wanted to meet with us, Jamie came along too.  So we taught Mary about the Book of Mormon and how it WILL change her life.  She shared with us that she felt like "the Spirit was telling her that it was true."  SO BAM!  Then when we taught her about the restoration she had those same feeling of the spirit telling her of it's truthfulness.

Later that day, we met with Lloyd another less active member.  He's probably about grandpa's age and trying to quit smoking.  He has gone down from 6 packs a day to a half of a pack!  We also met another man named Charlie.  He is seriously like 5'5" and 220 lbs.  He round kicked over my head!  He's the biggest G!  The best part about Tuesday was that since we're out of miles on our car, we have to ride our bikes everywhere.  The problem is that my bike has a wobbly back tire, the handle bars won't stay in place, and the whole thing just shakes when I drive it!  I look very uncoordinated - but apparently Elder Curry's last companion didn't even know how to ride a bike and fell off like 6 times last transfer.  Anadarko is completely flat - so I just can't figure out how that happened.  Imagine what it might have been like if there were hills! hahaha

Wendesday:  We saw our Spanish investigators Jesus and Bico again and they made us food!  REAL Mexican food and yes, when I said I was full - she yelled at me in Spanish and basically told me to eat it all.  Soooo . . . I somehow ate 8 taco after we already had lunch.  Bico is just the best - plus we were able to talk for about in hour in Spanish!

Then we went to see Sister Spence.  She has some major heart issues and needs to have a pace maker put in.  I gave her a blessing that the surgery would go well and we hear that she is feeling a bit better.  While we were walking home, we ran into these 12 year old boys who were playing basketball on the street so obviously we played with them.  E. Nelson is about 5'4" tall and all those little boys were taller than him.  They all wanted to just play one on one with him.  It was hilarious.

One of the boys is Joey and he's my boy.  We balled with them for a few minutes and took off.  That night we went to the Pentacostal Mutual.  When we walked in with suits and name tags every one was looking at us like we were absolutely nuts!  The preacher that night started off by asking "Who reads their bible every day?"  The only 3 hands that went up were those of the missionaries. :)  Every one was laughing at us the whole time because we were answering all the questions.  Then he asked "What's keeping you from being closer to Christ?"  The kids responded with answers like friends, school and stuff like that.  I wanted to point out that it would be courageous to stand up for Jesus in front of their friends - but I didn't want to offend anyone so I just kept my big, bold mouth shut.   :)

Later that night after we went tracting for a bit, we went to thank Catherine and Star for inviting us to their activity.  After talking for a while, E. Nelson ripped a huge fart right there on her porch!  It was super awkward because nobody wanted to admit that it was them, so we all just started to laugh.  So now, everytime she sees us, she makes a farting noise.  I sure wish I had that on video . . . . :)

Friday:  We knocked doors all day on the East side of town.  We met a bunch of people out there but the one that is really promising is this lady named Leah.  She is about 55-60 and is going through a really rough time.  She lives in this little shack and E. Nelson was scared to knock it but I told him that these doors are where memories are made!  He finally knocked and look where it got us!  We have a set plan for her this week.

Later that day, we were in the nicer part of town by Walmart and I yelled out at this man as we rode passed and he said no thanks.  So went around the block trying to "find by faith".  Then E. Curry sees this house and thinks that we need to knock that door - and guess who answers?  Yup.  Him!  So we take off and while riding our bikes back to our house guess who we see?  Yup.  Him!  :)  We're starting to think it's a sign, so we're going to go back again next week. 

The biggest news of all!  On Friday night - we had ourselves a TORNADO!  It was amazing!  The storm seriously came in so fast.   If you think that the weather changes fast in Utah - you've never been to Oklahoma!  So it was like 80 degrees, the sweat was running down our faces and the next thing we know, we're on tornado warning!  The lit up the sky and the thunder was as loud as drums and the rain poured down harder than a shower.  It was just crazy how fast it came in!  Everything is fine.

Saturday we tracted all day since our plans fell through.  So we were riding on the east side of down where the tonado hit and we saw this tree that broke this gate.  We picked up all the branches on the road and tried to clean it up the best we could.  We also went around asking people if they needed help cleaning things up.  The tornado up-rooted a few massive trees and even took a roof off of a house.  The sad part is that the tornado hit the really poor part of town and most of these people don't have insurance - but they do have missionaries!  :)  I'm pumped about putting on a roof!

While we were out that day we ran into this girl who lives with another less active member.  Their house is kind of a party place - there are always people in and out of there.  Who know what they do but they also have a bunch of little kids running around half naked, dogs and lots of drunk adults all the time.  It's kinda bad and we are hoping to help them shape up and take care of their kids a little better.   She has the cutest little boy and I just feel so bad for him but we're going to try to help her get back to church and drag a couple of her friends along too.

While we were there talking to her, this drunk guy yelled over to us and said "Hey! Come over here!  I need to be saved!"  So we went over and talked to him and he was telling us how great we are and how he's so messed up and then he started asking all these questions like "Why do people think that Christopher Columbus discovered America when there were already Indians here?"  So I gave him a Book of Mormon and told him that his answer was inside.  Since he was so drunk, we didn't stay very long - but he did have a prosthetic leg so that was kinda cool!

The very best part of the week was when we were out riding our biked and we passed some teenagers who asked us if they could have a pamphlet about our church.  So we just rode on past and then I stopped and smiled at my companions and told them that we should give them a pamphlet. So we rolled up in our shirts and ties and said, "So who all wants a pamphlet?"  They all backed down and we talked to them for a bit and we ended up going over to the elementary school with them to play some basketball.  I felt like I was walking into a prison movie with all the thugs who play ball.  This kids Lucius said that the 3 of us along with him and his brother would be a team against these other big guys.  So we were playing 5 x 5 and we're down 17-9 (we're still in our shirts and ties btw) when I looked at Lucius and said, "Alright, let's start playing . . .  "  And that's when MJ came out and I dropped this HUGE 3 pointer.  We came back to a 29-28 game (playing to 30) and I get the ball and hit a DEEP three for the win!  I ended up with 12 points - can you say MVP?  or MJ  :)

On Sunday we had 91 people at the branch!  There was this family of 8 that was moving this week so we had this little luncheon thing after church and everyone just brought their own food and we ate together.  It was kinda different, but fun.  After that we went back to visit with Melissa, Justina and Drew and we were talking to them about the Book of Mormon when this hugedrunk black guy came and cussed us out so we left.  The best part was when Melissa got all up in his face and told him that we were representatives of Jesus Christ and that he shouldn't mess with us!  It was hilarious.

On the way home, we met this guy named Brian.  He's a free mason and he told us all about how he came to be a mason.  He also showed us some of the clothing that they wear and his ring.  I've got more to tell you about him but I don't have time.  Maybe another day.

So for my birthday, I don't really care what you send me. Please celebrate like I'm home though with chocolate cake.  I'll be calling you on Mother's day so let me know which number I should call.

Anyway, all is well in Anadarko!  I really wouldn't mind serving my whole mission here in Oklahoma!

I love you all and I hope you're all doing good.  Keep the faith back home.

Love you!!

-Elder Harris







Monday, April 22, 2013


Well, I'm in a trio with Elder Nelson (who is training me) and Elder Curry.  Elder Nelson is from Tacoma, Washington and Elder Curry is from Clearfield?  He went to Syracuse High School.  He's the DL out here in the Duncan Zone so he's ALWAYS on the phone. haha

President Taylor is my Mission President and he's awesome.  Same with his wife.  They have two of their kids that live out here with them.  The older one just got his mission call to Milan, Italy and the other one is 16.  And I promise you this . . .their son will be the most obedient missionary ever.  :)

I'm in the little town of Anadarko, Oklahoma.  It's a very sad little town.  There are lots of Indians and casinos here.  Check it out on Google Earth.  It's literally smaller than Beaver.  No joke.   The people here are very humble.  Mainly because they don't have anything.  Or because they've pretty much lost everything because of alcohol or drug abuse  It's just super sad.  But I'm still my happy-as-ever self trying to teach these people how to smile.

We do have a spanish family that we're teaching.  They started out as "potential" investigators and after our visit we've moved them into "investigator" status.  Their names are Jesus and Bico.  They are just the sweetest people.  They've been married for 40 years and all their kids have grown up and moved on.  Jesus has been very patient with Elder Curry and me - our spanish is rough so we try to work our way through the lessons.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon the other day (the are extremely Catholic), so we just shared that the Book of Mormon is just extra scripture and he loved it.  So they invited us back for dinner tomorrow night.  :)  I love getting fed!  (Sorry Ty)

I haven't gotten to eat at Panda yet.  Elder Curry is obsessed with McDonald's so we've been there 4 times.  Yes, in a week.  :)

It sounds like everyone back home is enjoying their blessings.  Just keep reminding our family of how blessed they are . . . seriously.  If you could just see some of the families here - there's just a lot of work to do.

It's just a branch here in Anadarko.  It's just not dig enough to be ward, but if we had all of our less active or inactive members coming we would have enough for a ward.  I heard that a couple of years ago that they were ready to make a ward.  The leadership was changed around and the man that they put in as the branch president offended a lot of people so the missionaries have spent a lot of time just repairing the damage.  Fun fact for you though!  Anadarko was the 2nd established branch in the state of Oklahoma!  And after all these years, it's still a branch.  :)

When we got here on Tuesday, we drove to the Stake Center near town.  I don't remember exactly which city we were in, but we hung out all day with the mission president, the AP's and all the new missionaries.  We are some food, sar around and listened to a lot of instructions.  It was just a very long day sitting in the church.  That night we went to the ZL's apartment and crashed.

On Wednesday - Transfer day we went back to the same stake center and I met my trainer - Elder Curry.  Then we took off to good ole' Anadarko.  When we got down there we knocked a couple of doors and guess what!?!  I GOT MY FIRST DOOR SLAMMED IN MY FACE!  :) :) :)  It was the funniest thing.  I walked off the porch just laughing.  It was so great to get that out of the way.  I even took a picture of the door to remember this day!

Then we went out to eat for Elder Curry's birthday.  We went to this little Mexican restaurant in town and it started to rain.  If you didn't hear, we were on tornado watch that day from 5 p.m. on.  So we went back home and waited for the sirens so we could get into our storm shelter.  But it never came, the closest tornado was 20 miles away.  No biggie.

But it's still tornado season here, so I'll keep you updated on events!  Rumor has it that we're supposed to have another big storm tomorrow!  It's the best around here during tonado season becuase we have super nice weather at night.

On Thursday some guys from the branch called and wanted us to go out with them.  Their names were Brother Jones and Brother Silverhorn.  We went and visited this less active lady.  She has some random guy crashing at her house who speaks Spanish. She speaks English - and they're dating?  I'm not really sure about how that all works out - but we don't ask.  We did ask him if he wanted to sit in on the lessons with us so I did get to speak a little Spanish with him!

After that we met up with this really cool guy named Tennyson.  He's the BOSS.  Super quiet, humble, and a great guy.  He's an Indian and fights fires for a living.  A lot of the Indians out here go out for 2-3 weeks fighting fires.  It's just what they do for their job.  We're trying to help Tennyson get a side job and I think we got him one!

We also took him to meet one of our investigators.  Her name is Destiny.  She's 18 and still in high school and is truly searching for the right church.  Her friends are touble and she ALWAYS has one of them with her.  One of her friends has a baby, and another one on the way.  Ya, she's only 17.  It honestly just makes me so sad to think about it.  But they do love to talk about the church.  Funny thing about Destiny is that her Grandma owns a lot of Anadarko and is COMPLETELY ANTI-MORMON.  I heard that about 2 years ago Destiny's mom was going to be baptized until the grandma filled her head with a bunch of lies about the church. 

So during this lesson with Destiny, we resolved a lot of questions she had after talking with her grandma.  I think that she believes us more than her grandma.  She can truly feel the spirit.  In fact, it was funny because she turned to one of her friends during the lesson and asked "do you feel that burning I was talking about?"  It was awesome to see that she can recognize the spirit.  :)

That night, Brother Jones did a fireside on the history of the Native Americans since pretty much everyone within an hour of here is Native American.  haha  So we had a pretty good turn out - about 25 people - along with a couple of these kids that are at the "boy's ranch" out here.  It's interesting to me how all of the Native American tribes when translating the name of their God turns out to be something like 'The White God, The Fair God, The Descending God, The Son, The Shephard".  It was so cool because he went over almost all of the tribes from North America and the translation.  He also showed the path of the people of Lehi and also the people of Judah coming through the north part of Europe and then over to the Americas. 

The awesome part was that those same 7 boys asked us for a copy of the Book of Mormon - so I guess we've got 7 more potential investigators!  Then we went and played basketball with them in the little gym and the missionaries rained.  :)

On Friday we went on splits with the ZL's.  So I went out with Nelson and Zerkle.  We taught this little family and invited them to come to Stake Conference with us on Sunday.  They had this little girl who is about 12 years old.  It was sad because she is pretty heavy and her dad wasn't very nice to her - called her names and stuff.  In my mind I was thinking c'mon man . . . have some respect.

After that, we went and helped this family move into a new house and I met someone that used to work with President Haymond (Argentina Mission President) - so that was kinda cool.  That night we crashed at Zerkle and Traasdahl's apartment.

On Saturday I met Elder Neil L. Anderson!  :)  Ya, what's up.  Every missionary got to shake his hand and a couple other members of the 70.  That  was so awesome!  He's such a normal guy it kills me!

After our meeting we drove to who knows where in Oklahoma to meet with an inactive family.  Apparently they don't like big crowds so they live 20 miles away from civilization.  And that's one of the reasons why they don't go to church.  They won't go to a ward because it's too big and the branch is about 2 hours from their house.  I don't know what the ZL's are gonna do there . . .

This is the best part of my week!  That night we decided to go on a "Spiritual Walk" around town.  So we met a few of the less active families, handed out some books and some pictures of Jesus.  While we were walking to this lady's house, we met this boy named Drew.  He was drunk but we prayed with him anyway.  Since we kinda work in the bible belt, we tract a little differently.  When we go to houses we tell that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and then ask them if we can say a prayer with them.  After we finish our prayer, we then ask them if we can come back some time to pray and talk some more about Jesus Christ.  Since most of them are either Baptist of Catholic they usually accept our offer. 

As a background, there is one church here that is kind of the "IT" church.  It's like the Grace First Catholic or something - so we just call it the "Grace Church".  Everyone goes there - they give out food, play rock music and say "hallelujiah" and they are saved!  Ya.  So we were talking about this church the other day and wanted to know more about it.  So while we were on our spiritual walk, I had this impression to go knock on the door of this green house just off the main street.  So we went over there and the man that lives there is named Derek.  We asked him if we would pray with him - he agreed and informed us that he's the PASTOR OF THE GRACE CHURCH!  :)  We spent some time talking to him - he's a hippie by the way.  haha

I LOVE Oklahoma!  It's weird how attached to it I already am.  As sad as this little town is, I'm really trying to make it a better place - and I will!  It's just going to take a little time. 

Anyways, I'm out of time.  Please keep me updated with life and everyone!  I love and miss you all.

-Elder Harris

 Our little house . . .
How old is this oven?

 Do you love our shower? 

My brothers came to see me the Sunday before I left Provo

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm in Oklahoma Now

Well, I just had 5 minutes to let ya'll know I"m here. The rumors are true.. and yes, it's flat.
Here's a pic of me with my new mission president.
There were 25 of us that flew together, and 4 of us (including me) who are going to Resistencia.
They're from PG, Springville, and Fremont. How nuts.
They said I'm most likely going to be in a trio so I'll let you know on Monday - That's P-Day
I also found out that they don't skype here just call, so if I'm here on Mother's Day, expect that.
Tell Marty and Jen Smith thank you for the doughnuts, I keep forgetting to tell you that. They were legit!
- Elder Harris


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oklahoma City!

Well Mom, there it is.  I'm going to Oklahoma City until the Visa gets here.  If you could find anything about OKC that would be awesome and just send me the info.  I leave on Monday, so I'll be sending a package home today with all the stuff I won't need.  An Elder gave me some super sick flip flops like Howard Hannemann always wears, so I'll send Ty his blue ones to mow the lawn in.  :)

Holy cow.  I don't even know what to think about Oklahoma.  All I really know is that Kevin Durrant lives there.  It's hot, humid and super flat.  Hello tornado land!  :)

We all got our re-assignments today and Elder Beach is going to Tampa, FL.  Sister Smith is going to Boston, some of the others are going to Milwaukee.  Elder Beach and I were screaming like little girls when we found out.  They're still working on travel plans, so I don't know exactly what time my flight is but I'll call you when I can.

During "in-field traning" last Friday I saw Elder Christensen from the District.  It was super funny.  Cool guy.  Anyway, "in-field training" is kind of boring but they just told us to not be dumb and stay focused. 

Conference was amazing.  I loved it!  And guess who didn't fall asleep through all 10 hours?  Yup, this guy!  Tell that to Tyler during Priesthood session.  What up.

But I do have to admit that Preisthood Session without my brothers was WEIRD.  And then not being able to go for ice cream with dad afterwards made me a little sad.  But I loved it anyway, especially Elder Holland's talk - it was legit.  And President Monson, and Packer, and ah!  Just all of them, it was amazing!  Then we had a little district testimony meeting after and it was one of the better ones we have had together. 

Then at the devotional on Sunday we had some acapella choir come (like pitch perfect) and sing to us.  Ya, acca-awkward.  I didn't even know that was a thing.  Anyways, they were a bunch of guys from BYU who sang songs and toured the country singing songs with no instruments.  Elder Beach and I were laughing the whole time.  But the cool thing was that they were all RM's and would stop and share a little spiritual thought in between the songs.  It was nice to hear more mission stories.

So we went up to Salt Lake on Tuesday.  And on the way I saw a building by Traverse Mountain - What is that?  I honestly hated driving past my mountains again.  It made me miss home so bad.  Then I had to go back to the MTC - I'm so ready to leave mom.  Elder Beach and I are both this way.  We are just here, doing nothing really.  I mean, we still study hard and listen to awesome devotionals, but I'm ready to get out and do some work. 

So the consolate.  We went to the Joseph Smith buiding and met with the assistant consolate and he shared a bunch on things about Argentina with us:

1.  A meal down there isn't considered a "meal" without beef.  So happy day for Chik-fil-a!  And he said that Argentinians look more like Italians and act like the French.  Not really sure what that means, but who cares!  I want to get to Argentina!! and Oklahoma City!  :)  They apparently eat a ton of pasta.  Their work and meal schedules are different than the US.  Breakfast is just whenever, then lunch is usually about 1-3 in the afternoon and then dinner is at 8 or 9.  Sometimes even 10 - he said it wouldn't be uncommon to get invited over for a 10:00 dinner.  Then usually go to work at 9 until about 7.  The best part is they take SIETAS!!  He said that down in Buenos Aries they don't usually respect the siesta, but they do in Resistencia!  I just might get a nap once in a while!  :)

They are also huge soccer fans and death rivals against Brazil.  I hear that the entrie country shuts down for world cup - and if they loose it's not good.  Apparently they are NUTSO over soccer and some guy said they are pretty good at basketball too.  I'm not scared to drop some 3 pointers on them.  :)

He talked about all the areas in Resistencia.  I hear it's considered the poorest city in Argentina as well as the hottest, most humid, and the most bugs.  So ya, I'm already in love with the place.  :)  He also said that the people in the big city are usually a little more "proud" so I'm happy to be in Resistencia - I know I need to be there . . .

Oh!  And it rains a ton there.  I didn't quite understand the story but apparently there was recently a big story in Northern Argentina where it dropped 300 meters of rain in a couple of hours?

Some kid also asked about the new Pope being from Argentina if that has brought up the attendance of people in church and apparently it has - Mass is up 15%.  Most Argentinians are raised Catholic and then just go inactive to all religion.

Elder Beach and I ate at the little cafe downstairs of the JSB and it was kinda pricey (I checked his debit card and it was less than $8 haha) if you didn't already see the charge on my card, but I was dying for some outside food.  I sure hope they have a Panda Express in OKC!

All in all I've loved the MTC.  I love Elder Beach and the spirit that's here, the devotionals, the food (sometimes), the people, the branch presidency, the teaching, just everything!  I love it here.  Every night in my journal I think that I write at least once that I love it here.  I'm honestly going to miss it so much but I'm ready to leave and know that I will always remember the sweet spirit that I've felt here.  The best part about the MTC are the little miracles that happen each day.

For example, the other day during companion study Elder Beach and I didn't know what to do - so we finally had this idea to go and practice our "one minute approach".  So we would go up to random missionaries and say "Hey, we're missionaries from the church . . . "  We did this to like four sets of missionaries and then we set our sights on these 3 sisters.  They picked up on what we were doing and rolled with it.  So we talked to them for about 5 minutes or so in Spanish and then parted ways.  Once we all realized that our little "practice" was over, one of the sisters started to cry.  Like loud.  Once she gathered herself she told us how she found out that her grandpa passed away yesterday and how much she needed to hear what we had just shared.

It has been cool to reflect back on the experience and even though Elder Beach and I were simply just practicing and didn't have any idea that we were making a difference, it did.  I love how the spirit works!  We heard a talk the other day by Elder Bednar that answered a lot of questions that people have about whether it's the holy ghost speaking to us or is it just me?  Am I receiving personal revelation?  Elder Bednar says who cares!  If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing it will just happen.  Don't worry about it!  I loved it and I can never doubt that the Holy Ghost didn't tell me that we needed to go practice our intros to brighten that sister's day.

Tell Corbin congrats!  Chile is going to love him!

So how's everyone doing at home?!  How's Braeden's shoulder?  Is he playing again yet?  I've been praying for it like crazy.  How's McKenzie?  Is Tyler getting married yet?  How's dad?  How are you?  How's the team?  How is PK doing?

I love you all and I pray for you every day.  I miss you all so much too.  Could you please give me a little update on Colton too? 

Keep close to Christ.  Read every day.  Keep praying.  Trust in God and never shrink.

Love you -
Elder Harris

Our district with our teachers!

Elder Harris and Sister Barney

Elder Beck, Sister Barney, Elder Harris

Elder Mickelson and Elder Harris

Harris, Beach, Dial, Mickelson

Elder Harris and Elder Beach

Elder Harris and Elder Beach

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hosting, Visas and the Robe

Yesterday we hosted! I got to help Jazzy and I also helped Melissa into the blessed MTC!  They were both a little nervous, but I hope that I helped them enjoy the first 10 minutes in the MTC.  I saw Justin last night.  He is on the floor just above me in the residence, so I hooked him up with some food.  He said that he's doing good.  I also got a picture that night that I will share later.  Chantel is a missionary now and McCall too.  I've even saw Jake and we got a couple of pictures.

 Elder Harris and Elder Justin Cloward
Elder Harris with college roommate Elder Jake Smith

I met a kid from Cordoba, Argentina yesterday.  I told him that I was heading to Resistencia and he told me that all of my white shirts will be pink by the time I get home!  I can't wait!  I'm getting way excited.  Elder Beach and I are just ready to go!

New Mission Boundries

I saw Tyler and Easton!  They're the best.  I miss them so much!  I miss you too mom.  :)  Honestly, I miss all of you so much but like Tyler told me today - nothing is going on at home.  Just the same old same old.  Tyler and Easton looked way pumped.

Tyler, Elder Harris, Easton

BIG NEWS! So Elder Mickelson and Dial are taking off on Monday.  Dial wasn't able to get all of his shots done, so he's heading to Las Vegas and Mickelson is going to Peru Monday morning.  So it's just going to be the 4 Elders and 6 Hermanas in our district for the next week.  This upcoming Tuesday (4/9) we're driving up to SLC to talk to the Consolate.  I talked to the travel office the other day and after we talk to the consolate it usually takes 2 weeks to get the Visa worked out.  So I am getting re-assigned  for now.  Plus I heard that the Argentine Consolate who lives in LA doesn't always feel like signing the papers so I might be in the states for even longer.  Pray for somewhere out of Utah please.  I already feel like I'm still at home.  :)  So in a nutshell - I'm planning on leaving the MTC on April 15 - 7 weeks in the MTC.  I love it here!  So I guess that means I will be flying out with Cloward, Melissa Devitt and Chantell.

As for your question about how many of us are going to Resistencia - I'm not totally sure.  I know there are 5 in my district, 2 from another one on our floor and a couple more just scattered around.  I'm guessing 15?  It's doesn't really seem like that many.  The Haselton's cousin is on my floor and we hang out all the time - he's the one going to Resistencia too.  I also found out that one of my teachers served with Lexie's husband Garrett.  Ask him if he know a tall lanky kid named Elder Harris?

Yesterday I saw something that was the most inspiring thing ever.  I saw a blind missionary.  He had one of those stick things.  I instantly had so much respect for him.  It's crazy how deovoted to the gospel some people can be.  I just thought I would share that with you.

Easter Sunday was unreal.  By far my favorite Sunday here, favorite Easter, and probably favorite day being a missionary so far.  That morning we had Sacrament Meeting in 19M (the huge meeting place) where we passed the Sacrament to 3,000+ missionaries at once.  It was way cool.  Bishop Gerald Causse spoke to us about how he was sitting in a room with Holland, Bednar and bunch of other apostles and they were trying to decide who should go speak at the MTC.  I guess Elder Holland looked at him and said "I think Bishop Causse needs to speak!"  Trust me, he needed to! 

Since it was Easter, he focused on the Atonement.  And like in your letter the other day, he told us that the Atonement is so much more than Christ dying for us.  I still don't know all that the atonement can do for us, even Bishop Causse said that he still doesn't understand everything that the atonement can do for us. 

Then he asked the question:  "Do you know Him?  You're all going out to preach about Him, but do you really know Him?"  He then told us about President McConkie's final testimony and how began to cry as he testified of the fact that he KNEW who Christ was and that we're going to see him again.  I believe that he passed away a couple of months after giving this talk.  Go watch it - it's on - best 15 minutes of my life.  The speaker went on to tell us how we can know Him.  To do whatever we can in our power to learn of Him so others can know who He is through us.  I'm starting to learn who Christ is and the power of the Atonement.  It's amazing!

On Sunday night, Sheri Dew came and spoke to us.  Sister Nally (MTC President's wife) had us sing a rendition of Called to Serve that was amazing!  After that the most beautiful sister missionary I have ever seen with the voice of an angel sang 'I Know My Redeemer Lives'.  I even went up and awkwardly talked to her after and asked her to wait for me.  We exchanged emails and we're getting married in June of 2015 so prepare to meet your new daughter-in-law!  Ok - half of that was a lie.  I did tell her that she had a very beautiful voice - and that she invited the spirit.  It's the best pick up line of the MTC - hey Hermana, your voice invites the spirit so well!  Yup - doesn't fly - awkward level right now is a solid 8.

Anyways, Sheri Dew was so amazing.  She also spoke on the atonement.  She took a different appoach though.  She told us about how Christ suffered for us so we can put our insecurities on the alter and He would take care of it.  For the past year, I've been trying to do it all myself thinking that I could take care of these things.  That I could deal with the stresses in my life by myself but that's exactly what the atonement is for.  Christ has already suffered it for me.  I've learned that it's fine to admit you're not perfect.  Actually, He prefers it!  So starting Sunday night, I stopped trying to be so high and mighty and 'not try to make Christ suffer more for me'.  I will just submit to the wonderful gift that we've all been given.

I can tell you that it's already made a difference.  I can admit that I'm not good enough to learn Spanish all on my own and that I'm not perfect.  I can admit that and turn it over to Christ and he will take care of it and make up the differnce for me.  I love hearing Sister Dew speak.  She was inspired for sure.  This talk was definately one of my favorites.  At the end of her talk, the thought of leaving Elder Beach came to my mind when we were singing "Nearer My God to Thee" and I started to cry a little.  I don't want to leave Elder Beach, he's been such an amzing companion.

Elder Harris and Elder Beach

So now a funny story for you.  We also had testimony meeting on Sunday.  I got up to bare my testimony and I said "Jesucristo es mi hijo" (Hijo means son!)  Ya it was bad.  I just went with it and changed it to hermano.  No biggie.

Then yesterday when Elder Beach and I were teaching, I was trying to explain baptism by fire and infierno in Spanish is hell - you know where I'm going with this.  So I said that in the church we are baptized by fire (fuego) and she looked at me funny so I tried another word that I thought was fire so I said infierno!  Then she started it laugh - I'm embarrassed! 

Last Friday we taught a TRC - which is pretty much like home teaching and we taught this lady named Herman Arroz and we were talking about the Book of Mormon.  She first learned it in Spanish and then she moved to America and learned it in English.  She is from Mexico City and she told me that she appreciates the English version so much more than her native Spanish.  I though that was weird because Tyler always talks about how much he loves his Russian Book of Mormon.  All RM's seem to love it more in their mission tongue than their native language.  But to her the English version was her "mission tongue" - it was just super interesting to think about that.

On Saturday we just taught an investigator and studied.  On Monday, I was bestowed "THE ROBE".  All of the district just older than us left.   I seriously felt like I was saying good bye to my brothers.  Aukerman gave me the robe - it's aparently been passed down for who knows how long in our zone.  I know that I'm at least the 4th bearer of it.  It's an honor.  hahaha

At Tuesday's Devotional, a member of the 70 spoke and posed this question:  "What do you want to become over the next 18 to 24 months?  I didn't know.  We had a talk like this when I first got here about the same thing and I even wrote down then in my little study journal what I wanted to become.  I went back and read it and if I had to check off the things I had already completed - I would already be done so I re-wrote the list. 

I wrote down who I wanted to become and how I will do it.  Hopefully when I look back on that page when I get home from my mission, I'll be able to say I've completed them too.  Tell Braeden and Kenzie thanks for the letters.  I will try to write them back if things don't get to crazy around here.

Anyways, I love and miss you all!  I hope everyone is doing good.


I'm having a great time.  Don't worry about me!  I pray about ya'll every night!

-Elder Harris

Elder Harris and Elder Beach

Sister Adrianne Bennett and Elder Harris

The Zone

Elder Harris and Elder Sam Beck