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

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