Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, July 11, 2016

Last Transfer . . .

Well, I just got out of an interview with President Rasmussen... that’s why I’m emailing you so late.  I did get transferred.. I’m not in Chulucanas anymore.  Now I’m with Elder Buenning (St. George - Desert Hills) and we are the new traveling assistants.  Our new assignment is basically to help with supervising the work and do all that we can to help and train the other missionaries. I will be coming home with Elder Buenning since we’re from the same group.

Last week for the 4th of July, my comp and I celebrated with chicken that we bought and ate it on the top of our roof as we looked at the stars and chatted.  It was nice and a great way to relieve all the stress that we built up. 

On Tuesday we had interviews with Pres. Rasmussen.  It was an "obedience interview" and he made a list of questions that he asked to every missionary to see how obedient they actually were.  We started chatting and chatting, and I was waiting for him to ask me the questions, but he never did. He just looked at me and says "I know you’re doing what you’re supposed to." He thanked me and then said "can we end with a prayer?"  I was a little stunned but didn’t question it. Haha.

I also had a baptismal interview that day in Tambo Grande.  It was tough, the first baptism that I’ve rejected. He answered the questions perfectly, and his testimony of of the restored Gospel was powerful, but he just wasn’t ready to take the step to be baptized. He wasn’t fulfilling all of the commandments. It about ripped my heart out, but we set some goals together, and I know that one day he will enter into the waters of baptism.

I also got to see one of my buddies that returned home about 8 months ago. He just showed up randomly to a recent convert family we were visiting with his wife!

We’ve been helping a ton a less active RM. He returned from his mission about 6 years ago and hasn’t gone to church in a long time.  After talking about the restoration of the Gospel, he looked at us and said "I know Joseph Smith was called by God", he then expressed his feelings that he was ready to change.  That night he called the President of the branch and asked for a interview.  Everything went great, he went to the activity we had on Friday night and church on Sunday!!

Oh yeah, we had a super awesome activity on Friday night.. boys vs girls, we called it the competition of Adam and Eve, clever, right? :) We played all sorts of games, like dragontail, stomp your neighbors balloon, grapes in water, human knot, etc... a ton of people showed up and we were super pleased with it :) 

Saturday night we received the transfers.  They just told me that I was gonna have a special assignment.  As for my companion, he’s staying in Chulucanas and is gonna train a new missionary. I’m happy for him :) 

I felt absolutely devastated when I heard the news, I thought for sure that I would end my mission there because I had such little time left... but God has other plans for me.  Saying goodbye about tore me apart, I even cried if you can believe that.  We had about 8 dinners with members.  I truly grew to love them like my family.. as I laid down in my bed for the last time, I was happy. Extraordinary happy because I felt like I had given that area all I had, even if we didn’t have the most success in the world.  I will never forget that place.

I have millions and millions of pics, I’ll send you a few right now and I’ll show you the rest when I get home :) 

I love you guys. 

-Elder Harris

Monday, July 4, 2016


Hey, guess what?  I ate at Chili´s last week!  :)  It was the best food I’ve eaten in 2 years! I was so happy :)

Monday night we had an appointment with these awesome investigators and we walked like 2 miles to get to their house. They weren’t there and it ended up falling through.. we were a little bummed out, trying to think about what we should do next. We stop and offer a quick prayer and right as we finished, a voice called out to us and told us to come... We presented ourselves and ended up finding a really awesome couple that wanted to hear our message. They didn’t have light in their house so it was hard to see, but we could feel it.  I know that God send us to them...

Oh so get this, we enter into this house, and this guy is there with his family and he says, okay if you can answer me one question, I will let you stay. We smiled and said "okay go ahead." :) This was his question: If we are all God´s children, why did he only send Christ to the Middle East and not to the Americas? Oh my word, we about died. We were smiling from ear to ear, because WE HAVE THE BOOK!!!!!! We presented it to him and then we gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon and told him to read it.  He´s already read a ton of chapters and he came to church to us this week with his daughter... haha! What a miracle! :) And the best part, he even told an Evangelist preacher that he was "dumb" for not believing in the Book of Mormon! Hahaha!  This guy is the man.

Wednesday we helped this sister weed her backyard – it was more like a forest. It’s a good thing I’ve had a lot of practice :) 

Thursday, oh my word, we literally traveled all day long. We had to pick up some documents in Tambo Grande and bring them to Piura and it was quite the adventure.  We left at 8 AM and didn’t get back to Chulucanas til like 4 PM.  On the bright side, I ended up sitting to a less active member of the church on the ride there and we had a nice chat and she even said she was gonna go to church this past week for the first time in 8 years! On the way back, I found myself sitting by a nun from Cincinnati so we had a good chat.... NUNS ARE CRAZY!!!

It was my companion’s birthday this week so we did the famous egg throw on his head... :) 

We started our fast on Saturday afternoon.  We were fasting for some progression here in Chulucanas, and as we were fasting, we pass by the house of this member to see how he’s doing.  He told us to wait for a minute to call his friend and he then made a lesson for that same night for us to meet up and it turned out really well.

Sunday was testimony meeting. I felt the spirit so strong as the members were sharing their testimonies and I felt prompted to share mine... sometimes as missionaries I feel like we’re always testifying of the restoration and the Book of Mormon and we forgot to testify of Him... I know that He lives. He is my Savior, and He has healed me.  I love Him, and I serve Him.
After I sat down, my buddy Ricarte who is a RM from Bolivia stood up for the first time in 2 years.  He told me that he felt impressed to stand up after he heard my testimony.  I guess God works in mysterious ways.. He prompted me to stand up so that Ricarte would have the opportunity to share his.

I love the mission, Mom. I don’t want to come home. I don’t want to come home. I don’t want to come home.

-Elder Harris

love you guys

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gringo Soccer

Last week was pretty great.... just like every week in the mission. :)

We went to Piura to compete in this big soccer tournament..... unfortunately our zone is made of straight gringos... soooo, we lost every game. We just don’t play soccer very well, especially competing against the Latins. 

This week I feel like God has been trying to teach me about "money". Countless times this week, people were just dumb with their money, and that’s why they are so poor.  For example, this guy sent 2000 dollars to Ghana so some "girl" could fly down to see him in Peru.  It turns out she was fake... WHO WOULDA KNOWN?  Another other guy says he has a tons of debts and asked us for money but he plays on 5 different soccer teams for fun and likes to go out to nice restaurants with his family when he has money. I’m like oh my word you guys are so dumb. I’m just happy I won’t make those same mistakes. :) 

We have 2 awesome investigators Omar and Guillermina. They’re a young couple.. and this week his mom passed away.... it was super hard for them, they’ve been devastated all week and we´ve been trying our best to help them out. We told them to read the Book of Mormon in Alma 40 about the resurrection and the world after. They said that they read it, and it was such a strong peace that entered into their house, they knew that they would see their mom again. It was powerful to hear THEIR testimony growing.

We visited Juana this week as well... remember the one I told you about that had the gall bladder problems? Yeah, she’s super stressed cause they don’t have any money and she can’t support 4 kids on her own.  She’s just super discouraged. We told her that if she would just drop everything and follow the Lord, that everything would work out ans that God would provide the way to better her life.  The pattern is so simple: read, pray, and go to church. Last Sunday, she came to church for the first time in 8 years with her family and now is reading the Book of Mormon! Miracle si o no? 

Church was great... we’re having such a hard time here in Chulucans... we get people to go church, and then the members don’t talk to them and they feel weird and they don’t ever want to come back. I feel like Chulucans has definitely been my hardest area so far.  We have had so many people come to church one time, and then they just stop progressing cause they don’t want to go back. We’re working hard though, and doing all we can to find the chosen ones... just got to keep going. :) 

Anyways, sorry we don’t have much time to write, I’ll write more next week :)

I love you guys, see you soon.

-Elder Harris