Monday, January 12, 2015

Pigeon Soup and People in the Woodwork

So, things on this side of the world might be a little different than yours. It´s currently about 100 degrees.  It´s been getting to a low of about 93 this week, with clouds, and humidity. It´s been a good week. I´ve also discovered a new diet - and it’s not the "starve yourself with only rice" diet like I tried last year, or the HGH diet I tried with Elder Valdez. It´s this awesome diet called the "Walk around in the sun all day in pants diet" It seems to work great. The hardest part is leaving the shade.

You know, it´s funny you ask what life is like here at 2 in the afternoon. I´d like to know what everyone else is doing too.. but I DO! They´re all taking a nap. EVERYONE sleeps a siesta. So from about 1:30-4 everyone sleeps and we study. :)  So, just imagine missionaries inside studying and there you go. :) Maybe I’ll take a picture this week to show you. 

Christian and Johanna are good. They were sick on Friday when we visited them and Christian said they´re good to come to church but we haven´t been able to see them. We will be visiting them tonight since they didn´t make it to church this week. Johanna is still reading in the Book of Mormon and Christian is every once and a while. 

But we did have Consejo de Lideres this week. So, the elders from Ibaretta came down on Monday night and we cooked up some pizza and enjoyed some outdoor pizza with coke. Then on the way back!! The elders from Clorinda had to stay with us (you know, I think they just like us the best) so we cooked up some choripancitos! oh it was soo good. 

Consejo was really good too. The area presidency has made some changes and now we only report 1. number of baptisms and confirmations 2. assistance in our ward/branch 3. less actives reactivated.  It´s a really different way to do missionary work. The idea is that they want to focus on results and not as much on how we get the results.

I also gave Elder Valdez the goodbye hug. I´m not gonna lie... it was weird. It´s strange to think that I won´t see that kid until we´re both back in the states.  But don´t worry. He´ll come to visit sometime. He´s one of my best friends in the mission.

As for this week, it was HOT! But, it sure was a fulfilling week. I feel content with everything that we got done. We taught a lot of lessons, visited a lot of people, and we´re starting to see multiple families progress toward reactivation or baptisms. It’s a good life.

So, we ate pigeon soup.

This weekend also has been the best weekend of my mission. Well, second behind the week that Jorge was baptized. But, I just feel content. I remember very distinctly walking to the bus stop at the end of the night and having the spirit come over me. It was a good feeling, almost like someone was saying "good work". I got that feeling on Saturday and Sunday night. It really was a testimony builder to me especially if I could explain ALL of the things that happened those 2 days. They were days full of lessons on all parts of the spectrum. From first contacts or investigators taking their first steps, inactive members with a ton of problems looking for solutions or recent converts asking themselves why it´s so hard to endure to the end. A little bit of everything we had mixed into those two short days. But, we taught to their needs and helped them understand how important the gospel is in their lives.

So, I don´t know if you remember, but we were teaching a Family Laviosa a while back. Aldo and Laura? Well, we went by the other day and were talking to their dad Seferino who was super against talking to us. Well, we talked to him a few times then finally gave him a BoM and invited him to read it. We set a time to talk and when we came back, he had read all of 3 Nephi 11, and went off for 5 minutes EXPLAINING EVERYTHING that happened in the chapter. He even caught the part where everyone came up to Christ. It was awesome. We taught the first lesson, and I asked him "So, do you want to know if this message is true?" And he just paused, then humbly said "Si." So we started throwing ALL the commitments at him! Will you read? Will you pray? Will you come to church? Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized..? (before I finished my question he said yes) He replied Yes to every single commitment. And you know, it´s not rare here to find people that say yes. It’s another thing to have people actually keep their commitments. But the way he said it was so determined that I knew he was going to do it. He showed up to church as we were helping prepare the Sacrament and he kinda got on us and said "Hey! I thought you were gonna be here waiting at the door!" But he stayed for Sacrament Meeting and then had to go. I even got him singing the hymns with us! 

We also had another investigator at church. Her name´s Sofia, she´s 16 and the sister of a super active new convert. We hadn´t even taught her yet, and she came to church, but Sunday afternoon we had a lesson with her and her sister Selva and another friend named Lorena and they all want to read. They all want to come to church. Honestly, God is just dumping blessings on us.

And we had another investigator at church. Her name is Mikaela, she’s 12 and is the niece of a convert of 2 months. We´re gonna keep teaching all of them, and see if those white pants still fit. ;)

I was thinking last night about how great this last year of my mission has been. From Elder Zivic, Elder Suarez, Elder Valdez, Elder Simmons and Elder Brough. They´ve been some of the best companions that I could´ve ever asked for. They´ve helped me in millions of ways. I feel this last year of my mission really has been the turning point of my life. 
I love being a missionary, I just want to keep living in this dream that I´m living.

Love you all.
Elder Harris III 

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