Mother Dear! Oh, I've been missing you this week . . .
Tell Braeden Happy Birthday for me! I'm sending him a present, but don't tell him. :) I hope he's doing good. I hope all of you are doing good! I've been praying for you guys a lot this week. I sure do miss him . . . I miss Ty and Kenzie too. I've been thinking about how blessed we are! And mom, I hope you realize how blessed we really are! The mission has been making me have mixed emotions towards everything. I guess that's just life!
It sound like you guys are having an awesome summer! When does school start? School in Anadarko starts on the 1st. They only had like 8 weeks of summer . . . yay.
I'm doing good. We're finally starting to get some recognition for the work we've been doing around here - people are finally cluing into missionary work! I was asked to speak on the 11th if I'm still here. I'm probably going to have to bring a mop up to the pulpit with me to clean up all my tears. Every time I talk or think about leaving here I get sad. As bad as I want to go to Argentina, I'm starting to realize how big of a difference I've made here and I want it to continue! I haven't heard a word for more than 9 weeks about my visa. I just know that I need to let the Lord do things in His time. I know that no matter how much we complain - everything is on His time.
Last Monday we just had our normal p-day. We played basketball, did some laundry, the usual. That afternoon the landlord called us and told us that we needed to get the lawn mowed so I started up our neighbors lawn mower and went to town. I ended up mowing for about 3 hours while the other elders deep cleaned the whole house. That took up most of the day so by the time we ate and showered it was time to go to bed.
On Tuesday, E. Corey was sick. We seriously sat inside ALL day. There's nothing worse than having a sick companion. He slept until 2 in the afternoon, then we went to dinner at the Klienkole's house in Apache. So we were going on two days of doing absolutely no missionary work.
Wednesday I couldn't handle doing nothing anymore - so I forced them out of the house and we got to work. We went and visited Matt. He was baptized about 3 years ago and is struggling with his faith. We're trying to help him all that we can. We also started the new convert lessons with Cindy. She's doing really well. Then we dropped by and visited a part member family - they haven't been to church in years, but we're doing out best to help them get back! That night we went to a big cook out for the Grace Church. They were handing out food and backpacks to kids. So us 3 Elders and the 2 Sisters in our area went and talked to people at another church's event.
When we walked up, you wouldn't believe how bad we stood out. Seriously, it was bad. Every person there watched us walk up. It felt like a movie! Like after an explosion and you see the guys walking away from in in slow-mo? ya. That's what it was like except for these nerdy guys with backpacks, ties and tan lines. It was legit!
We talked with some members, investigators, and non-members there. We even found some solid potentials. Oh, and the best part was that we watched some people get saved! It as really interesting to watch! haha We also saw a Christian rapper - and ya, I can rap better than him! :)
We had a solid day on Thursday. We got to have interviews with President Walkenhorst. The mission has a goal of 100 baptisms in the month of August and I think we can do it! I know that we can get at least a few in our area!
We had a black widow out in front of our house, so I went all Alligator Hunter on it and killed it. We had dinner with the Roulains's (the ones related to Uncle Charles) and it was one of their boy's birthdays. Afterwards we dropped by to see Cody and Ranae. And can I tell you that I really love them?!! She has been ready like crazy - she's on 2 Nephi 3 and loves it! Cody found out that he got the job that he applied for - so things are really looking up for them!
Friday we had district meeting in Chickasha, cooked up some Indian tacos and then came back to Darko. We jumped on our bikes and set out to work until 9! We rode across town and visited a few less active members. On our way home we saw some kids playing in a canal and it rained like cats and dogs down here this week so the water was pretty high. I heard some screaming and thought that someone was drowning so I pedaled my little Heinz 57 as fast as I could! When we got there, we just saw a bunch of kids hunting turtles. So we laughed and talked with them for awhile. One of the little boys who was 3 or 4 years old claimed he could beat us in a bake race. He was reppin' a tiny bike so E. Read raced him! And yes, the little guy won. :) It was a really successful day.
Saturday - We almost had the whole day set up from the days previous. So we me with one of our potentials and her dad sat in on the lesson too. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and the importance of it. She told us how she didn't really like some of the other churches because they were either 1. A Party or 2. Morbid. I just laughed.
We ended up at Charlie's house and his pup just had babies. There were 5 super cute puppies and if missionaries were allowed to have pets - I'd take one!
We also met with Cody, Ranae and Nola. We taught them about the importance of the Book of Mormon. They're honestly just good people - super down to earth and prepared. Nola told us how when she used to see us in the streets how she always thought that we were JW's and curse us! But now that she knows us (like everyone else here) they love us!
Sunday. Miracles happen on Sundays. We got to church around 9:55 and there are probably 10 people there and within 5 minutes probably 60 people showed up! Natalia and Elder Read spoke in Sacrament meeting and did an amazing job. Natalia talked about how obedience to the Lord's commandments brings blessings and E. Read talked about the importance of family. I taught Elders Quorum since the other two were preparing talks. I wasn't totally sure what to talk on so I though about who the Elders of the Church are and what they represent. So I looked up "Priesthood" in the Bible Dictionary and nothing. So I went to Elder and it wasn't what I was looking for either but it had a reference to "ministry". So I read it, and it was GOLDEN.
I talked about how the Elders are examples. They are the teachers and the people that set the footing. I went to the scriptures and showed them how Christ has laid a foundation for us - so all we need to do is follow in His ways! I told the story about Dad's leg and how life is like a river sometimes - and sometimes one of needs to get bruised up. Very interesting lesson.
Anyways, after church we cooked up some French toast and it was BOMB! We were invited over by Nola's son, Joseph, but he wasn't there when we arrived so we just chatted with the rest of them for about 2 hours. It was one of the most spiritual talks we've ever had with them and Ranae told us that she received an answer that the Book of Mormon was true and that the Priesthood had been restored! While we were there, all three of them told us that they knew it was true! We invited them to be baptized. The spirit that was there was undeniable. I think that all of us were crying - it was so strong. We set a date for August 31st!
I love being a missionary - especially when I get texts that say "I want y'all to know that you changed our lives". It just solidifies my testimony of why I'm here. I know that if I had decided not to serve that I would have regretted it every day of my life.
This work is true, I know that God lives and loves us.
I love you!
Keep the Faith.
Love, Elder Harris