Monday, October 27, 2014

Trick or Treat!

Wow Mom. That was definitely not the news I was expecting to hear. I think it’s funny that Dad told me that in 2 years nothing changes. Do you want me to start on the list? Well, Ty got married, almost all of his buddies are married, my uncles are having babies, cousins leaving on missions, I don’t know if it’s the same. I know just like you all have changed, that I’ve changed a lot too. I feel good with who I am right now. Elder Simmons is by far my favorite companion of my mission. I will never forget this kid. Sadly, I don’t think we´re going be staying together for another transfer. So, were going live it up for the last 3 weeks we’ve got! 

And no, we´re not going be celebrating Halloween, but Elder Simmons and  I might make up some more Banana Pancakes and take turns knocking on our own door saying "Trick or treat!"

Well wow! You had a full week of marriages and homecomings. I’m happy to hear that Brayden and Maddi got married the same week! They both look great. I miss those two a lot. It feels I haven’t seen Brayden in a LONG time. 

Both missions have had different roles in my life. I know the Lord sent me to Oklahoma for a reason - and one day I will understand. I will say that Argentina has helped me to grow up a lot more. I’ve learnd to trust the Lord more in the past year than I have ever in my life. Can you believe it? I’ve officially been in Argentina for a year this week. :)

But wow mom! Things in Clorinda are great. We are teaching 6 or 7 families (complete with a dad, mom and kids) which is really different than before in my mission where we would only teach like 1 person at a lesson. All of the families are great. They´re so different, each and every one of them, and I just love being able to see what works in a family so that one day I can do it in mine... I’ve already come to a conclusion - those that not only have the gospel, but LIVE the gospel as a family are the happiest.

I really am doing great. I’m happy, healthy, and starting to pull a few pranks on my comp. Gosh I love Elder Simmons. He’s so funny. He told me some stories from before his mission... he’s a riot. Shout out to his parents btw! You two did a good job. :)

The biggest thing I learned this week is how to say "I´m sorry". We had interviews with President Franco in Formosa. And I’m not sure what happened, but before we have always had lunch as a zone with President. But this time nobody brought food and we were all super hungry, and a little cranky from sleeping on the floor from the night before. I complained a little to the assistant that there wasn’t food... so I had to call him up the next day and say sorry for how I acted. 
Even though I’m not perfect, I just have learned to say sorry through that experience and a few others this week to help me realize that sometimes we need to just say sorry because nobody is perfect... 

We also started our English Class this week. I kinda took it upon myself and another companionship to teach it. So we´re teaching and it will be a great time. This week we taught them how to say "Hello, My name is..." and things like that. Super super basic. Like Braeden says its hilarious to see Latinos trying to pronounce the words in English. I don’t know how the people don’t just laugh at me all the time. 

So a week ago, we met this little kid named Waquín (11) and we told him we are going pass by when his mom is there, and we passed by and started talking to his family. They are great. The mom is named Estela. She’s great. She’s catholic, but doesn’t practice her religion and she tells us that her religion just doesn’t "fill her". Like, it doesn’t satisfy her. So she came to the English class and we had a really good time teaching her, Waquín, Doris (little sister 8 ) and her boyfriend Isidrio. We also showed them the church right after the class, and it was awesome! When we entered the chapel.. someone had left the AC on, so it was super cool, and we were all hit with the spirit when we entered in. It was awesome. Estela still has a lot of questions but is reading the Book of Mormon at night before she goes to bed with her kids. So that’s a plus! 

We also got Oscar to go to church again. I’m so pumped for him. He’s only 21 and he finally wants to get out of that pattern of life of drinking and smoking. He is super quiet, but is slowly getting better.

We´re honestly teaching a lot of people and I’m sorry I never have enough time to explain all the great stories and spiritual experiences I´m having here. 

Love you guys!
Helaman 7:16-18

Keep the Faith!

Elder Harris III

Monday, October 20, 2014

Snapbacks & Barrio Toba

Well, the name of this weekly letter is gonna be "Snapbacks and Barrio Toba"

I know you love me mom.  I’m trying my best to make you and dad be proud of me. 

I´ll try to hit the stories I told you last night, but for real. I love talking to you guys – you’re the best.

The Scripture was D&C 78:17 

17 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of goodcheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

It just got me to think about how we really don’t understand all the blessings that our Father has waiting for us, but we just need to be happy and follow in The Path. The Kingdom is ours, if we want and those that follow this path, with gratitude toward our Heavenly Father will be made even as He is. 

I love the scriptures. Sometimes, they just talk to me.

I´ve also been thinking about what Dad asked me and I just want to repeat what Elder Simmons said - for all those preparing to serve missions, go and have mission experiences. Pray and ask Heavenly Father to have some experience every day to help you become a missionary. Mom, you can do this too. There’s a video on on the Hastening the Work of Salvation that talks about it. I feel that sometimes we are so busy or so worried about going to this place, or getting that thing done, that we forget to stop and help Gods children on our side. The worth of every soul is great in the eyes of the Lord. 

Melissa is home? Wow. Didn’t I help show her into the MTC? ;)  How great for her though. I know what she feels like - even though I’m in Clorinda, half of my heart is still in Goya. Always will be...

Well, I might want start eating some meat and doing more than 30 minutes of exercise. It looks like the Cougs need me! Put in a good word with Bronco for me... I’m gonna get home screaming "Put me in Coach! I’m ready to play!"

So this week, we had some good experiences. For starters, I got some crocodile skins. Just a gift, really. We walked a lot, so my legs are getting ready for the kickoff squad, and well, we kicked some rocks. Man, I’m telling you – I’m getting goood at kicking rocks. I can kick a pebble like half a block!So really, we had some good experiences. We also had the BIGGEST miracle. So there is this less active boy named Oscar, he´s 21 and every weekend, well everyday he drinks and smokes and does drugs, and ya.. so the other day, we had this super spiritual lesson with him and his brother who is also less active, and we invited them to prepare to receive the priesthood. No joke, we came by a few days later and Oscar was completely clean. Has not even picked up a cigarette in 2 days. His nose would bleed for hours on end, but we gave him a blessing and he´ll be okay. It was such a great week. I’m gonna miss the spirit of being a missionary for sure... And now Nelson´s girlfriend Mariela has a baptismal date for November - the plan is that Nelson can baptize his soon to be wife! :)

I also got to do a baptismal interview with a lady named Andrea. That was fun! She was really prepared and the spirit was super strong during the interview, so she was baptized on Friday! It was a great baptism and a lot of people came out to support her. 

We also had a super great experience! So, we have this family that was just baptized in another area, but their entire family lives in my area... and he came out with us in 110 degree weather to show us his family! It was so great. We got to meet a ton of people with him and we invited them all to come to church! Since it was mother´s day, they didn’t come but we have next week!

I’m sorry, I don’t have any more time to write, but I love you guys a ton!
Have fun this week!
I’m not gonna come home with my shoes on!
Elder Harris III

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Power in the Book of Mormon

No milk? Mom, no milk? (I told him that I never go to the store and that never buy milk anymore since no one drinks it!)  Don’t worry - here we don’t drink much either. We have resorted to boxed milk, and we usually drink about half a gallon a week. I’m not really sure what we eat, but we´re still living, so I guess we must be eating enough. ;)

But everything is good. Yes, I’m still here with Elder Simmons, my little boy. Gosh, he´s so much fun. We decided to put our study desks in our bedroom so we could use the AC unit during our study hours, so we had to make ourselves some bunk beds. You wouldn’t believe how much more room we have for activities - such as planning, praying, reading the scriptures, etc.

The best thing that happened to me... well, since we had transfers, and we also had another area open in the zone, we split the district, and I became the district leader of 2 groups of sister missoinaries. So Im the DL of my area, and 2 companionships of sisters. You can call me the Relief Society President. It’s cool, just different. I know for a fact that sisters work a little different than Elders, so it will be a change of pace. I’m glad to be able to serve the other missionaries though. It will be fun. 
And looks like Kenzie had ANOTHER great birthday. I’m a little sad that this is the second one I´ve missed. It really doesn’t feel that I’ve been gone that long. Right? But I guess I have. I think she had the same cake for her last birthday too...

Anyways, this week was an adventure. Just like every week.  So we went to Laguna Blanca for District Meeting, and we enjoyed a variety of foods from corn dogs to tacos to celebrate our culture. It was pretty cool, and we enjoyed ourselves. I’m super sad that I won’t be able to go there anymore with the change in the district, but we can still buy bananas here in Clorinda. 

My son also gave his very first blessing in Spanish. I have converted my "hold to the rod" necklace into a vial holder (I have the oil around my neck now) because we´ve given so many blessings recently. I love giving blessings. They´re just so spiritual. But yeah! Elder Simmons got to give his first, I was so proud! #prouddadface

On Wednesday, we also had super good day. We got to give a handful of blessings, and I’ve really learned the power of using the BoM in our teachings. So this week we read the story of Christ coming to the Americas with a few people and it was very powerful. It helps them understand how Christ established HIS way especially in verse 28 when he says that there’s no more need to fight over what is right, because I just taught you.  We also used the example of the 2000 Stripling Warriors. It fit perfectly to a family we are teaching, and it was great to just sit and feel the spirit in their home. 

We also go a little bit of rejection this week. We knocked a door, and this lady opened up her door and said "No me gusta los Mormones" (I don’t like Mormons), I said "well, it’s a pleasure to meet you too!" She didn’t think it was funny. So we took off.  Maybe another day. :)

As for investigators, we have this part member family that we´re working with. They just moved back here from Buenos Aires and he is now preparing to receive the priesthood and she is planning on being baptized! They need to get married first, but hey! We´ll keep you posted!

Love you all,
Keep laughing.

Elder Harris III

Monday, October 6, 2014

Some Good Stories


I watched conference. :) In english. It was great. Like peaches on ice cream.

Yes mom, I bought a new camera. I've also taken more than 100 photos this
week, but this internet is slower than something that is super super
slow. So I think that's about it for photos for the week. I'll show you
all of them in a few months. 

Anyways, Im glad to see the family still has your crazy traditions
with Priesthood, shoe shopping, screaming at the TV, etc. I´ve picked
up a few of my own traditions on the mission like waking up at 6:30,
reading the scriptures for at least an hour a day, and walking a lot.
Big news! Prez Franco went to the summer schedule early, so now we´re
walking up at 7 and going to sleep at 11. The best schedule ever!

Anyways, im gonna cut to the chase. This week was somewhat productive,
but man. We got some good stories.

So, you know - Tuesday was our Pday. After we had a few super solid lessons 
and we thought that everyone was gonna come to conference
after these lessons. We set appointments with the same people for
Thursday to make sure they were gonna go. So we went back to visit the
Simbrom´s and I don't know how much I've told you about them... but they
were actualy married by the missionaries about 10 years ago, but
before they got baptized, the missionaries got taken out of the area.
So.. they lost contact with the church (you would think even if the
missionaries aren´t there that people would still go to church... come
visit Argentina)  Anyways, the dad drinks now and were trying to help the wholefamily but the dad never talks to us... its a long story. I'll tell you after.

So we also met with this guy Aliviano . He's gold. Never been introduced to 
religion, we were SO excited for him. We had 2 super spiritual lessons with him and he was asking questions and wanting to know, he was reading the 
pamphlets, and on Sunday when we passed by his house to go with him to 
conference he was actually not dressed in his church clothes, but rather in a fight. Yes, literally, a fist fight. His nose was all busted up, he had blood running down his face and he had a big bottle of wine in his hand from the night before. He
was swinging at another fat drunk man while his overly drunk 18 year old son, with 2 boxes of wine in his hands and an empty bottle in his
back pocket, was trying to break up the fight.  It just shattered my universe. I was so sad to see him like that. I know that Christ knows what it feels like to bedisappointed, but wow.. I felt super let down after the lessons and everything else. But hey! We´re not working with tigers, we´re working with men. And men
can change their stripes.

But let´s see here... so Wednesday we went to Resistencia. I prayed before we 
left that I could have an opportunity to share the gospel.  While waiting in line, 
this lady said "Hola Elder". Or in English that means "Hi, I'm a member of your 
church, most likely less active, can I tell you why I´m not going to church and 
the other problems of my life?" So, I took the bait. And she reeled me in like a 
sucker fish.  Anyways, she was baptized about 40 years ago. Stopped going to 
church when she was 17 and ws "too cool" for things like that and never went
back. So we talked for a while then she got a phone call. So after she hung up I was already back talking to the other elders, but the thought came to my mind 
that I need to give her the BoM that I brought with me. I had just barely read inAlma 37 and I gave her the copy and invited her to return to church.  It was a 
good answer to my prayer :)

I didnt go to Laguna Blanca on Thursday, but we had a great day.

Conference was great too. I wish I had more time to te you all my stories.. but Idon't.

Love you all!
Keep the faith!
Im not coming home with my shoes on!!!!

Elder Harris III