How are you guys?!
I´ll tell you one thing, Uruguay is NICE. Or at least the parts I got to see, but I´ll get to that.
But it sounds like you´re week was pretty... interesting. From polar plunges, hijacking house boats, and Christmas parties... and I thought that my life was crazy! I´m kinda alright that you didn´t go to the Seamons party because I couldn´t go either. You know that it´s always my highlight of my year. I hope Grandma and Grandpa Seamons are doing good. Are they still figuring out how to manage their Facebook? ha! Oh, and I told this lady here (probably like 65) that my 90 year old grandma just got a Facebook. She just about died. It was hilarious.
Anyways, Congrats to Talon. Being #5 of the Harris clan to be missionaries. What a gift to Grandma and Grandpa. I hope they enjoy it. ;)
As for the trip... oh, it was memorable. Probably about as fun as the California Senior trip that I took. Honestly, it was 50 missionaries, President Franco, and the bus driver on a big bus for about 15 hours. So, I´ll start from the beginning....
So Tuesday night, the Elders from Ibaretta had to come and stay the night at my apartment since there wasn´t other bus to get to Resistencia in time. So, they all got there and we ate some pizza that Elder Brough makes. It was 6 elders in our pench. The best part about it was that we didn’t have enough mattresses so an elder (Elder Hulme) slept in a hammock hooked up to our bunk beds. It was hilarious. 6 boys in a room the size of your closet. #countyourblessings
So Wednesday we headed to Resistencia. While waiting for the bus, we had bought the tickets we needed and we realized the bus was full, and 1 elder didn’t have his ticket.. so I drew the short straw and had to wait back with him, buy another ticket, and wait another hour and a half for the next bus to Resistencia. It was "one of those" moments. I did get some Subway though. They just opened one up in Resistencia. It was good, but not as good as the States. #sweetonionchickenteriyaki
But we got on the bus around 5 and took off to Uruguay. I sat on the back of the bus with Elder Beach and Elder Creer. It was a little ironic and someone made the comment that in exactly 2 months from that night, we would be sitting in the same places but on an airplane.. that was probably the trunkiest comment of the trip. ha! But it was good to talk to them, catch up, and see how they´re doing. We stopped in Reconquista and guess who got on the bus?! Elder Valdez!! The trip couldn´t have gotten better! And guess what he told me! His older brother is engaged!! I don’t know how much I told you about him, but the dating life of his older brother was one of our P-day conversation topics.
So, we ate at this super nice restaurant in Reconquista before heading to Uruguay and when we got to Uruguay (the border) it was like 11 in the morning. We slept on the bus but it was alright. I slept pretty well. When we got to the border, it wasn´t too bad. We just had to do a lot of paperwork for 50 missionaries. Then for some reason, there was a problem with our bus so we had to take taxis from the border to the city of Salto, Uruguay. It was super pretty! OH! And our Taxi driver was hilarious. He is a musician and made this song for the Dorado festival, it’s like the Surubi festival that happens in Goya. Just another fishing competition. It was cool, he wrote a song for this festival and tried selling us a CD. I was gonna buy one but we changed the subject before I could ask him for one. :(
So we ate lunch at another restaurant then went to the stake center there in Salto. We met a few other missionaries that are in that mission, and traded some money with them, just for the memories, you know. ;)
But the trip was pretty relaxing until we tried to get back into the country...
So, as I got up to the list, I noticed they had pulled Elder Haselton, Beach, Creer, and Israelsen to the side and I´m just waiting for them to pull me to the side too... So, I got to the counter and he starts doing the paperwork. Luckily, he asked me if I know how to play a Fender Bass guitar. I told him not really, but I have a Les Paul at my house. He got soo excited about that. We started talking about AC/DC and made plans to meet up at their concert in Buenos Aires in March. ;) It was cool, and the best part - he let me through without a problem... so I´m legal for 90 more days! :)
As we got back from the trip, President took one of the elders in my zone out so we are currently in a trio. Me, Elder Brough and Elder Flake. Elder Flake is from Spanish Fork! He´s a good missionary and heads home in March.
So we´ve been working, and luckily we managed to have a handful of lessons before the end of the week. None of our investigators came to church this week, but we´re still working. I don´t know why we´re having such a hard time getting people to church. It’s been 4 weeks without anyone coming to church... We´re staying positive though. :)
We are teaching the family Laviosa. They are probably the best we´ve got. One of the brothers-in- law was murdered a few weeks ago, and since they´ve been spending more time together. We´re teaching the mom and a handful of the family members. The difficult part is helping them get to church. I´m not sure why they don´t come... Aldo, one of boys is 25 and has told us multiple times that he wants to know if Joseph Smith really was a prophet and we´ve explained how he can know for himself. Everyone else in the family is listening, one of the younger grand-daughters is named Maribel, she´s 15 and is super interested. She asks super good questions and wants to come to church, she even was dressed and ready but Aldo and Laura didn’t wanna come, so Maribel couldn´t come either.
It’s disappointing, but we´re doing all we can.
As for the spiritual part of my life - I´m doing great. I´m finding more great things in the scriptures than I ever have. I just finished Doctrine and Covenants from beginning to finish, and it was very interesting. While reading a lot of questions came to my mind.
I recently have started on the Pearl of Great Price. While reading the other day something (like always) stood out to me. It´s a simple verse, but in Moses 5:5. Adam was obedient. It’s like his obituary. He was obedient. That’s how he was described. The other day at Leadership council, President Franco said "All I want out of my life is to be humble and obedient". It was something that stood out to all of us. An elder next to me leaned over and said "All I want to be is a multi-millionaire" I got a good laugh, but what I wanted to share is that we can put our focus on becoming something rather than being something. In a talk I read once it said that Judgement day won´t be like Finals of a college exam, rather a "what have you become/how have you used your time".
So like Bishop told me over a year ago, let´s use our time efficiently. Moroni 9:6.
Love you all,
Keep the faith!
Elder Harris III