Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy One Year! :)

I sometimes struggle to understand how much has really happened this past year.  I know that I've grown a lot, I've met a ton of people, had some really good experiences and some really bad ones.  But for right now - I'm loving every minute of it.

You know, I've never really thought about it until now when you mention it, but thanks, I appreciate it and know that it's so true that Satan is always trying to tell us that we're not good enough.  And even though he tried, Ramona was baptized this past Saturday and confirmed on Sunday.  I truly loved the smile on her face.
My companion is from Rio Negro, Argentina.  He's way cool and has a good head on his shoulders.  He's had a rough past and once told me that he was the only active young man in his branch back home.  He has a super strong testimony and teaches though questions which I'm slowly learned how to do.  :)  We teach very well together and he's probably one of the best of all my companions up until now.  I drops cane and I love him!

This past Monday we were thinking a lot about what we should focus on as a zone and we started to think that something that we were missing.  We finally realized that it's CHARITY for the people that we teach.  :) So on Tuesday we had a surprise zone meeting and taught on charity, the spirit and our true potential to become Gods. We let all of the missionaries bare their own testimonies and it was a very spiritual, uplifting meeting.  I was super grateful to be able to hear all of their testimonies!

After that, we worked as normal and had a few miracles.  We had 6 of our investigators attend church this week so Elder Suarez and I are SUPER pumped.  The first 2 that came are C and A.  They are probably in their 50's and C is literally "bound" to cigarettes and alcohol.  He wants to quit and we had a lesson with him on Tuesday and then again on Saturday.  Sunday at church he really struggled because his bod was shaking because of the lack of these substances.  He's determined to quit and isn't going to let anything stop him. We've set a baptismal date for them on March 15!

Then there was Alicia and Valentine.  Alicia reminds me a lot of Grandma Kris.  She's like the same age and does some of the same funny things as grandma does!  She's so great and progressing.  Valentine is her grandson who lives with her.

We had a lot of fun this week and we're trying to implement the importance o love in missionary work.

I love you guys and I pray that everything is going great for you!

Elder Harris

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Power of Perserverence & Determination

I can't send any pictures today because the good cyber is full so we had to come to this crappy one.  Sorry!

Since I've been in Goya I've found so many things that I haven't seen in a while.  Today I found M&M's.  Ya.  Peanut M&M's.  Dad would die.

This week was great!  On Tuesday we did divisions with the Elders in Bella Vista.  We took a collectivo at 5:30 am to Bella Vista then Elder Condori and I got back to Goya about 10:00 to work.  We had a great day and a good district meeting.

On Wednesday we got up and took the 5:30 a.m. collectivo again back to Bella Vista and then I came back with my companion.  That night (morning - 3 a.m.) we had to take another collectivo to Resistencia for a Multi-Zone conference on Thursday morning.  The conference was great and I learned a lot about what we can do to improve ourselves and our areas.

As for right now, we have a few solid investigators.  The problem is that we can find about 30 people in a week but only 1 or 2 will keep listening after the 2nd or 3rd lesson.  Most of the people are just too nice to say no.

We do have this investigator name Alicia.  She's great!  When we found her it was a little miracle.  We were super tired of talking to people that either didn't understand our message or have any intention to progress or repent - so we were walking and decided that behind this door we are going to find someone who understands.  We knocked on the door and she let us right in!  When we invited all of the family to join in with us this other lady (who was Alicia's sister) came running in the room.  We found out that she had recently been baptized in Buenos Aries.  It was a little miracle and now Alicia is reading and trying to find out for herself if the church is true.

As a zone we have a baptism this Saturday for Ramona.  She's super cool and even though she was recently robbed of every earthly possession she is a super hard working woman of faith and is pressing on to be baptized!

If nothing else this week I've learned the power of perserverence and determination.  I absolutely love it!  I love the mission, Mom.  I hope all is well in the family.  Be sure to keep the Smith family in your prayers

Love you,

Elder Harris

Monday, February 10, 2014

Best P-Day Ever!

This week was insane - like every week.  :)

We moved to a brand new pench since the 4 of us were crammed into that little one.  It's BRAND NEW with tile (just like all of Argentina) and honestly super nice!  We're blessed.  And we live in the center of the city so we enjoy the sounds of motos and cars all night long.  :)  We don't have AC, but it's alright because we're never in the pench anyway.  :)

The branch here is de diez!!  Seriously, it's so good!  We have plans to do divisions with each missionary on Saturdays (there are 8 missionaries that serve in this branch).  The priesthood here is super supportive of missionary work!

We have one family that recently went to the temple to be sealed and they're pumped as can be for missionary work!   They throw references and invite all of their neighbors to church and they bring to church in the bed of his truck!  They are also having super spiritual FHE's with the 2 best missionaries here in Goya - Elder Harris and Elder Suarez!  We're loving it, having a great time and doing a lot of work!

Our area is full of idol worshipers.  Its' super funny because some people have flags for which idol they worship. There are some houses with red flags for Guachito Gil and others with lights for Maria.  It's hilarious!  Corrientes is known for idol worshiping and I honestly don't understand it.  When we ask people if they believe in Christ everyone says, "Oh!  Of course!"  But then they have an idol flag, sanctuary or pictures of Gauchito Gil. San la Muerte, or Maria.

So last night we had this lesson with this guy who didn't understand idol worshiping and said, "Well heck!  You (pointing to me) seem like a great guy!  Let's just kill you now and we can all worship Elder Arrrreeesss.  (He was kidding.  He wasn't really going to kill me Mom, so don't worry.)  But just to prove a point!

We did find a lot of people this week.  We had 32 new investigators but only a handful have potential to progress.  We do have a few others that are just about ready for baptism.  We have this one boy named Johnny - he's about 14 and is friends with the family that just went to the temple - and will probably be baptized here in the next couple of weeks.

It sounds like you are all doing great!  I assume that you're pretty excited about the last President's Day baseball trip!  My question is what are you going to do next year?  Sit around and let me talk your ear off?  :)

I'm grateful for the mission, especially the time I've spent here in the Argentina Resistencia Mission.  I've learned more about myself and my personal potential in the past 3 months than I have in my entire life.  I kow now who I can become and the path to get there.

As I approach this milestone, I realize how fast this past year has come and gone.  I can't believe that a year is already done.  It feels like it was just a month ago that I entered the MTC with Elder Beach and now we're both Zone Leaders here in Argentina.

This week was really great and especially today because it was probably one of the best p-days of my mission.  So our new pench is probably a block away from this HUGE supermarket.  We spent the morning working on our new place cleaning, putting together the closets and what not.  Around 1:00 we decided that we were feeling pretty hungry and decided we would head on over to the market to get some stuff.  We were working in our normal clothes and I totally forgot to put my tag on before we left (ya - terrible I know!)

Anyways, we were at the market shopping and all of a sudden, I hear some random guy yelling at us "Elders!"  And it was in ENGLISH!!!  So he came over and started talking to us in English and I asked him how he could tell that we were Elders when we weren't wearing our clothes and tags.  He said, "Well, let's see - two young guys together, clean cut, one wearing an Angels t-shirt, a super awkward sun tan line on your neck, short and alpargatas (my Zuriick shoes) with socks - it's pretty easy to spot."

So we laughed and then introduced himself and his wife.  His name is Collin Whitehead and he served as a Zone Leader here in Goya 12 years ago.  He was on a return trip visiting all of Argentina.  He offered to buy us lunch and we ate at this super nice restaurant and then we spent some time helping him find some of his converts.  It was an awesome day!

But now we have to do some work!
Work, work, work!  I love it!
We're gonna go save some souls!  Yipee!

Love you all!
Keep loving the Lord, because HE LOVES YOU!

Elder Harris

Tuesday, February 4, 2014



Hey Mom!  I don't have much time but I'll give you a run down of where I've been and I do have permission to write to you tomorrow about everything else.

Today we had Consejo in Resistencia and I'm now in the terminal waiting on my collectivo.  I've got some BIG news.

Transfers were this week . . . and I'm no long in Fontana.  I got transferred to Goya, Corrientes to be the Zone Leader. I'm still the DL too - so things are kinda crazy and I'm even busier than ever!!!  But I love it.

My companion is Elder Suarez and he's from Rio Negro, Argentina.  We're doing WORK together!  We also live in a pench with 2 other Elders - E. Toledo (Chile) and E. Sibaja (Mexico).

In other crazy news, there is a Sister in my district that is from ALPINE!  She graduated the same year as me and I didn't even know her!  YA!  Crazy, right??

I'll give you more details tomorrow.  Love you!

-Elder Harris

P.S. - I got a package from you today!  Muchisimo gracias  :)

And then on Tuesday:

Hey!  I don't have much time.  I've been sprinting all day and I finally have 20 minutes.

So dad is truck shopping?  Dibs on the Chevy . . .

To answer some of your questions:  That chapel in the picture was in Colonia.  I never did take a picture of the one in Fontana but the one in Fontana was a lot nicer.  It didn't have a piano but we did have a DVD player and speakers for the hymns but the one in Bartolome was the same as Russia - a little cassette tape player.

In Fontana we ate with a member once a week - every Saturday.  The food there was super expensive and so every once in a while we had some extra money so we would splurge and buy chicken or carne (beef). Other than that, we usually settled for rice and something on the side.  I think I've lost a few pounds . . .

So we had transfers this week and it was crazy.  We had our last District Meeting in Pirane and then I spent the rest of the night packing.  It's great here, I really do like it!  When I got here we just jumped right into the busiest schedule ever.  We work like horses and I love it!  I literally don't feel I've ever worked so hard in my life... We forget to eat sometimes.. ya. that hard.

One of the highlights of my week was the we had about 120 people at church!  BIG DIFFERENCE!  It was so nice to attend priesthood with more than 4 people.  So great!

We also had a missionary in our zone who had to go to another area so we took him to the terminal at 12 p.m. to get him to his collectivo - but it didn't get there until 2:30 - but our collectivo for Resistencia left at 3:30 - so after he left, we sprinted to the pench, showered, got packed up and sprinted back to the terminal where we made it just in time to catch our bus!  Consejo was great!  I bet President put pictures up.  He taught us some awesome stuff.

So the 4 of us live in this super tiny pench that's made for 2 - so the 4 of us in there is a little insane!  But they're super funny and we love it and are enjoying every minute of it!  Plus the weather here in Goya, es de diez!!  I't seriously like a vacation - but I'm running and sweating and everyone looks at me super funny.  :)

But hey!  I love you guys - I gotta go!

Elder Harris