Monday, July 28, 2014

The Coolest Interview & Good Shoes


First off, how excited are you guys?  A wedding and a mission farewell in the next month!  I'm excited from thousands of miles away!  :)

I've got some good stories from this week:

We had interviews with President Franco - it was a great day, we had such a good time and I just love him to death!  He's a great man and I'm excited for this next Monday to see what he does for consejo.  I imagine that we will read from the scriptures a lot and find some "new treasures".  :)

We are working with a lady named, Lucy.  She's about 55 and a little on the talkative side.  She always reminds me of a few people back home and I just love talking to her.  She is a big smoker and has gotten down to 3-4 per day.  We're hoping she can push through this last little bit.  She hasn't come to church yet because 3 weeks ago someone broke her oven and she told us that she felt very "unstable" about leaving her house.  Two weeks ago her son who is a taxi driver was supposed to give her a ride had to drive someone to the middle of nowhere and couldn't pick her up.  So he asked another guy to pick her up and he forgot.  So this last week, she said she ate a few more sausages then she should have and got sick and then shared with us that she spent the day on the pot.  She has no fear of telling us exactly what's going on in her life, if you get what I mean.  #missionaryproblems

Lucy also told us that the JW's had stopped by her house this past week and she told them that she couldn't talk to them because she was Mormon.  haha  Then they went on to tell her that the Mormon Missionaries get paid 10.000 pesos for each baptism.  She she wanted to know the truth and asked us about it and we set the record straight.

I also went to Bella Vista to do a baptismal interview.  It was conducted on the shore of a lake and I sat on a broken chair.  The boy sat on a tire and told me how the crocodiles sometimes come up on their lawn and how their dad tried to hunt them.  By far one of the coolest interviews that I've done.  :)

Elder Burnett and I did the interview and then went to work and had a record setting day of 10 lessons!  We literally taught all day long and it was great!

And to top off this awesome week we had a branch activity with a TON of people.  There were like 60 people there (more than usually come to church) and we had a big pot luck.  We ate pizza, chips, and chicken sandwiches.  It was a pretty cool think to finally see some progress in the branch - mostly thanks to Elder Valdez.

I also broke my shoes at the activity.  After 17 months they finally had enough.  They were good shoes and they look hungry, no?

Love you all!

Elder Harris

Monday, July 21, 2014

Transfers . . . .

Hey Family!

So first things first . . . I'm still in here GOYA!  Transfer #5 - you better believe it!  7 months in this beautiful city full of idolitry, big fish, and some of the people that I love more than Lone Peak Basketball.  #shoutout  I'm super excited to be here for another transfer and my companion is . . . . Elder VALDEZ!  We stayed together!  This makes 3 transfers and I'm so happy that we get along really well and that he's a normal dude.  :)

Please send some pics from girls' camp.  Sounds like a dream come true - you know that the Alpine version of camping is officially 100x better than how 50% of the people here live?  So tell those little princesses to count their blessings.  :)

Not much happened this week, but I do have a quick story about how the Lord blesses us.  So we went to see an antiguo - she had talked to the missionaries about a year and a half ago - so when we stopped by and started chatting with her she showed us that she had 4 copies of the Book of Mormon.  It didn't look like she had even touched one of them so she told us to take a couple of them.  We hesitantly took 2 and I had to carry them since there was no room in my side bag.  So we usually carry 2 Books of Mormon with us each day with a goal of giving both of them out - but since we had 4 - we did some crazy finding and found 10 new people and placed all 4 books!  It's so cool to see that after our hard work that the Lord guided us to this lady to "reload" our stash.

Today we've been in interviews with President Franco.  All I can say is that he's great!  Absolutely incredible.  He has this vision of "Love for the people" and real growth in the church.  He sees that we have more than enough people in these branches to make stakes.  He wants us to reactivate these families while keeping up with our current baptism rates.  And to do that we are going to make sure that we (ourselves) are converted to the Lord to help others to be as converted as we are.  I've been super excited all day after this interview with him.

I love you guys!
Have a good week!

Elder Harris

Monday, July 7, 2014

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition #missionarystyle

Hey Mom!  I loved the title of your email - #confessions.  I've got some replies:

#confession #1:  I'm happy that you think of me but I've got to be honest, I don't think about you guys as much as you would think I might.  :)  I just get my mind going on about 2000 different things I've got to do - so I just don't have that kind of time.

#confession #2:  I'm starting to see a lot of progress in myself.  I can see now more than ever how I've grown, where I'm weak, and where I need to improve.  It's actually a lot of fun to see these changes!  I feel like I'm really in the groove of missionary work and I love it!  We're starting to really make a change here!

#confession #3:  As a missionary, I seem to judge myself by how many lessons or new investigators we have.  But I love your thought and I'm going to start to measure how good of a missionary I am by how happy I am.  Thanks for that.

President Franco got here - and he's here to stay!  I'm super excited to learn from another set of eyes.  It's been so great to have 4 mission presidents.  Each one has taught me something different that I can focus on and apply to my life.

President Taylor:  How the basics of the gospel (Doctrine of Christ) is the answer to every question.

President Walkenhorst:  The importance of obedience.

President Heyman:  PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.  Set goals, make plans, and do everything you can to achieve them.

And now President Franco:  Can't wait to see what he's got . . . .

As for Cade, I'm proud of him.  Nothing will change his life more than putting his life in the hands of the Lord.  It's not just being in the mission field that changes your life, but rather striving to be a missionary that changes your life.  And don't worry, Satan is just as strong if not stronger while in the field.  It's a preparation - so for all you young kids who are preparing to serve:  prepare to be tempted.  We're here to master our desires.

I've been thinking a lot lately about our personal relationship with the Father.  How important is my relationship with my Heavenly Father?  What does this relationship mean to me?  What can I do to make that relationship better?

Honestly, this week FLEW by.  We destroyed a house and rebuilt it for this super, super poor man.  He was living in a wooden house and his roof had a huge hole in it.  He has slept in a spider, roach, and snake infested cot with a tarp over him for a long time.  To make things worse, when it rains everything gets soaked so we decided to destroy his house one day while he was at work and built it up again.  It was super cool - we burned everything and then got to watch this man cry tears of joy when he returned and saw his brand new home.  Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition  #missionarystyle

We also had a few sad experiences this week.  Our family that we've been teaching had to move to the other side of Goya because of some family problems.  This means that they no longer live in our area but we do have plans to go find them this week while we're on divisions!  :)

All in all, we're doing good!  Elder Morrin gave our district meeting this week and referenced a talk called "A Fourth Missionary" and talked about how we can be more consecrated to the work.  He shared a letter that his older brother, Steve, sent him.  Steve recently got back from his mission and said how "the mission helps us set our priorities in line.  I've been home 2 weeks and still don't think I've turned on the TV."  E Morrin share a few more stories about his brother and how we can come to be a more consecrated missionary - not just to the work, but to the Lord.  I thought it was a pretty good message.

Love you guys!
Keep your heads up, you know I love you!  :)

Elder Harris

PS:  I totally got prayed over by some evangelical pastor this week!  He wanted to bless us.  :)