Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 2 . . .

Ahh man such an awesome week! I’ve definitely gotten in the grove of this missionary thing and I’m having a great time! Your questions:

1.  How much time do you get on the computer?  I get like an hour. Sometimes a little less. Just whenever they say get off.
2.  What's the deal with your foot?  Is it your ankle?  Give me details please.  Haha no It’s like the side of my foot.  The bone on the big toe side. Make sense? It’s been hurting and I’ve been limping for this whole time. But it doesn’t hurt to bad so I don’t know what to do. If it still hurts in 2 weeks I’ll go see the doctor.

The food.  Are you pulling my leg about the soup, Patrick?  Haha  Haha the food is okay.  I got some hot sauce at the store today and I seriously love it.  I almost started crying it was so good.  And no, not a joke about the soup.  Don’t worry, I just drink the broth.  Protein mom. Protein.  My favorite food here is the pescados which is like fried fish.  It’s funny, because "sins" in Spanish is "pecados" and fried fish is "pescados" so everyone mixes them up when we teach. We laugh.

Do you feel like you have everything that you need?  Umm no I still feel like I need stuff but I can by a lot of the stuff at the store.  It’s called metros and they having everything.  It’s like a 15 minute walk from the temple.. but hey, I wish I would’ve brought tan pants. dang.

Do you have a visa yet?  Is that why you went to migrations?  A visa? I don’t think so.  I applied for one and if it gets turn down then I have to come back and serve a little in the states.. I should find out in like 3 or 4 weeks.  Not a joke either.

6.  What is your room like? The classrooms? Bathrooms?  The rooms are fine.  Like half the size of our family room.  There’s 6 of us in there.  I sleep on the bottom bunk so that super nice. My roomates are sooo sick.  Elder Beidleman is like my favorite elder here.  He’s from California and his companion is Elder Haws and he’s super chill too.  Then older guys, elder Oviatt and Elder Connelly.  The classrooms are nothing special.  Geez I feel like I’m back at school, where all we learn is Spanish. Gets old. We’re in class for like 12 hours a day. The bathrooms are good.  The showers? haha.. they have 2 settings of water.  Mount St Helens volcanic water, and gulf of Alaska water. We choose cold because at least it’s bearable.  I don’t mind, I’m seriously just grateful for a shower.

Do you have lots of free time? No we don’t have much free time.  We have physical activity for an hour and that’s about it and then about a half an hour at night.

Have you been playing volleyball?  I’ve been playing a little volleyball.  There are only a couple good people here and their physical activity times are different so I usually play soccer. Oh my word, soccer is my favorite sport now.  I had a bicycle kick goal yesterday... who does that? Look it up if you don’t know what that is.

Sounds like you guys aren’t having as good of a time as me here in Peru! Sounds pretty basic if you ask me :)  Ahh I’ll be praying for grandma though. Hope she gets better, I feel so bad for her. 
I don’t know if when we watch Conference live ... I just do what I’m told.

Ahh man that’s the stuff I miss! Football! Sounds like a ton of fun!

I gave a blessing this week to one of the Hermanas in my district. Awesome time.  It was cool to see all of us Elders stand in on it. Powerful.

Speaking of... I went proselyting this week. Ohhh mann.. Mom I’m so grateful for everything.  The city was called Las Delicias.  Maybe Chorillos.  Look it up or something on google maps.  Well.. maybe not. Straight ghetto.  They have nothing but trash, dogs, dirt roads, and HILLS. My companion for the day was Elder bailey from Payson.  He asked this girl what her name was and she said "para que" which means for what? And he asked her like 5 times. Finally, he just said "mucho gusto para que" which means nice to meet you for what.  hahah He thought that was her name.  I was laughing and laughing.  I met a boy named Nico and oh my word he was the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen. Every kid here in Peru is adorable.... and then they grow up......

On the bus ride there, we had gas on the floor. Like what? They use rocks to knock on the tin doors  and it smells like 3 things:  poop, smoke, or beer.  CHICKENS everywhere.  It made me sick to be there I was so sad for these people.  BUT, I got to give a blessing to one of the inactive members.  Holy cow I’ve never been directed by the spirit so strong in my whole life.  A testimony builder of personal revelation. 

All of the people call me gringo and laugh at me.  I don’t get offended though and all the girls holler at me telling me I’m beautiful and then want me to drink with them. I don’t know.. I don’t know.}

Yesterday I matched my companion completely.  Same shoes, belt, tie, color of suit - everything.  We all had a good laugh.  He didn’t think it was funny when everyone said wow you guys are matching today. hahaha

Everyone here is sick from something called Dengay.  I don’t feel great either.. they sent 2 kids home I think.  haha wash your hands, I know mom. I know.

The Latinos left last night and it was tough.  I literally almost cried.  We actually got very close. I can’t wait to send you the pics of them.  You’re gonna love it. We got some new elders though.  60 new Latinos!!! and like 15 Americans. Mostly Hermanas. 

Something funny.  Apparently I’m in this secret society here at the CCM.  It’s been passed down for 2 years and it’s called the tie society.  In all the pictures of the past districts, there’s always 1 person wearing a special tie and me and Beidleman got in because the older guys nominated us.  Now we have to perform a rap tonight. I don’t know. And then we get to call on 2 younger guys when were older.

For all the new kids, we tell them that they have to teach for 20 minutes on the following day that they arrive.  It’s funny watching them freak out but it’s a tradition here.  Also, we teach 20 minute lessons a day. wow. yeah I know.  One of the elders is acting like a Russian and another is acting gay. It’s pretty funny.

Well, that’s about it.  I’m having a great time here.  The spirit here is amazing and I wish I would’ve made this decision to come a long time ago.  I hope everything is well back at home, and I hope you guys aren't missing me too much :)

Love you guys, and you’re in my prayers every night.

Keep it real.
Exact obedience.

- Elder Harris 4

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Crazy Week

Its been a crazy week! Definately one of the longest weeks of my life, but also one of the best weeks of my life. I've been so frustrated at times but for the majority of it, I've been smiling the whole time! My companion is Elder Ayala.  He's from New Jersey.  He's Phillipino.  So that's pretty cool for Ster.  He's about 5'4 and he's a pretty cool guy.  
The flight wasn't bad.  On the one to Dallas, I sat next to 2 women and I got bored so I started talking to them.  They looked different so I asked where they were from.  She said "morahh".  I asked her again about 6 times. not kidding.  Finally her friend said "eerah", once again I asked her another 3 times. Finally, she said "Sudam Husain" haha it was Iraq....... They taught me some Arabic and we had a dang good time together. Unfortunatly, I didn't get any pics with them. 
The flight to Lima was LONG.  8 hours I think.  We had to sit on the plane for an extra hour because difficulties with plane.  We got to the airport here around 1 and it took us an hour or so to get our luggage and get through customs.  Luckily, all my luggage is here. We left around 2.  It's amazing here. soooo pretty.  We got on a bus and it took another 45 minutes to get to the CCM. We got to tour of Lima so that was pretty sick.  Like I said, a Mexican Salt Lake :)   We saw 16 police man with lights on, crazy town at 2 am! We got to bed around 3:30 and got up at 6:30. 
The next day was literally the longest day of my life.  I was soo tired and I missed you guys and it was all horrible.  The CCM is nice.  It's pretty ghetto this time a year but it's nice.  I feel safe :) They have like 15 foot walls guarding this place so don't worry mom!
The food here is.... well........ its okay.  EVERY DAY we eat the same thing.  Rice, potatoes, soup, and bread. Occasionally we get meat but it's no good.  It's basically a piece of fat.  I laugh every time because I could just see McKenzie trying to eat it.  We eat it anyways cause hey.... it's protein.  We don't eat the soup though.  That's the first rule of the CCM here.  Don't eat the soup.  We always find weird stuff in there.  The first week we found a rat tail? Like what? Where do you even get that?  We find flies and bugs in there too. Oh yeah.. and chicken brains.  I just eat the broth and stay away from the other stuff. Oh yeah.... BREAD.  It's the only American thing here and we're allowed 4 pieces every meal so yes, I do eat 12 pieces of bread every day.. and yes, I still enjoy it.
I hurt my foot playing soccer this first day and I'm still limping.  Maybe I'll go see the doctor if it's still hurting in a couple weeks. 
My Spanish has been KILLER. On the second day I could already say a prayer.  Now that it's been a week, I can teach the first 2 lessons.  It feels awesome, and I'm working super hard.  My companion is STRUGGLING.  It helps having a basis of Spanish cause he had nothing.  During our lessons, by the way, they have to be 20 minutes long, I teach the first 19 in Spanish and he teaches the other minute.  We gotta work on that.  We've taught 4 lessons now and each one keeps getting bettter! It feels good!
There's another Elder Harris here so I asked him what his name was.. Patrick.  So I was like no way my names Patrick too and coincedently we had the same middle name as well.  Dwayne hahaha.  Only yesterday he found out that my name was actually Braeden . . . he about had a heart attack.  We had a good laugh.
The Latinos here are AMAZING. When I got sent to migrations, me and another Elder had to go with 12 Latinos.  WE HAD THE BEST TIME.  One of my favorites so far.  We laughed and laughed and we taught them English and they taught us Spanish.  I taught them how to say "what's up white boy" so every time they see an American missionary they say it. hahaha.  And of course "hey man... turn down for what".  Jackson would be so proud :) My favorites are Elder Mamani from Bolivia.  He's seriously like my best friend here. I got a picture with him so I'll send it when I get in the field.  Also Elder Munez from Columbia and Elder Lopez from Ecuador.  we're all homies.  When we were waiting to get in we found  a Coke bottle in the streets of Lima so we had a pick up soccer game on the sidewalk with the Latins.  Sooo fun. 
Our teachers are Senor Davalos and Senor Velasquez.  They're awesome! 
The candy isn't good.  We eat these things called cosinos.  They're like a cracker.  Those are the best.  They also have these things that are crackers dipped in chocolate.  It's funny but it's so ridicolsy cheap.  2 soles for a HUGE bag. That's like 70 cents. Then there was this old man walking in the street with candy on his back and we felt so bad for him so of course we had to buy something.  We bought some candy and it tasted a little weird, apparently it had expired 5 years ago.... hahahaha
I've been in the city 3 times this week. for migrations, interpol, and  p day.  Both the first 2 took like 5 or 6 hours each so we had a lot of time to kick it and talk.  Im surprised at how many problems these Elders have in my district.  Edler Buenning's dad died a month ago.  Elder Ayala never grew up with one.  Elder Beidleman's brother died by drowning in a pool.  Elder Edward's brother died.  And Hermana Robinson never grew up with a dad.  Thats only in my district. Its ridiculous.  I feel so blessed.  Seriously this past week has been so humbling.  To see some of these people here in Lima is horrible.  They have nothing.  Makes me sick every single time, I just want to help them.
We went to the temple this morning and it was awesome.  Although it was in Spanish hahaha. The celestial room here is sooo pretty.  I seriously started crying in it today just because of it. The rest of the p day we just hung around the city and went to stores.  We went to the supermarket and bought some candy hah cosinos.
But I love it here!  When i even think about coming home it makes me sick because I'm having such a good time.  I get to focus on serving the Lord for the next 2 years and that makes me so happy.  The spirit here is amazing.  It's funny to feel the difference from outside these walls in the city compared to the spirit in here.  I've become so much closer to my Heavenly Father in this last week.  I pray for you guys every night! I hope you guys are doing awesome.  I want to hear about all the stuff that you are doing back at home!! How did Devin do on his farewall talk?? Yesteraday I was thinking about him a lot and praying for him a lot cause I know how hard that first day is. Maybe send me his email adress so I can send him a quick one.  But anyways,  I'm having a great time here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now.
I love you guys so much!
- Elder Harris IV
I replied and asked if he was still there because I'm still not sure if he has a half hour or an hour on the computer!  He responded:
I think I'm still here. My time says 0.01.  I think it froze.. there's no one in the room so here I am I guess. I forgot to tell you that they call the city here "lima la gris".  or lima the grey.. I don' think I've seen the sun once since I've been here.  It's actually pretty cold here.  I wear my sweater a lot more than I thought so thank you mom :) 
My favorite Elders that are American are Elder Beidleman from California.  Elder Haws from California. Elder Mann from Provo is hilarous. He's a dancer and he dances for us all the time. He clogs and tap dances and does Russian dancing.  So of course, we all do it too.  There's some Elders here from Lone Peak too which has been amazing.. Seeing my friend Elder Bush from the volleyball team was the best day of my life. Soo nice seeing someone I know.  Also Elder Sheidi is here. He went to Lone Peak. Also Elder Randall and Elder Southwick.  None of them are going to my mission and there's a lot more Americans than you think here - it's about half. All the Elders here LOVE Calyn and McKenzie. They think they are the prettiest girls. All the elders always ask me how old my sister is. Sooo watch out Kenz cause most of them are going to BYU or UVU. The Latinas Hermanas are soo funny.  They always tell me jokes in Spanish and we laugh so hard.  I called one of her jokes stupid in Spanish one time and she froze. Apparently stupid is like the"f" word here.. ha. I also said trasero which I thought was butt. Apparently its the "A" word sooo . . . good thing I'm learning that now instead of out in the field.
I'm trying to be obedient here but that's like the biggest thing I'm struggling with.  But hey, I'm trying and I'm doing better every day.  Just wait until I get back and I'll be the most obedient boy you'll ever meet!

Okay I've got class right now so I gotta get going.
love it here, love you guys.
"keep the faith"

- Rich homie

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm in Peru!

Heyyy family. We get 3 minutes to say we made it here safely.  Geez I'll tell ya I am having the absolute best time of my life.  I dont think I've stopped smiling the whole time!  :)  My P days are on Thursday but they don't start until next week so it will be probably another 10 days before you hear from me again.  

I have sooo many crazy stories.  I can't wait to tell you guys about them.  My companion is Elder Ayara.  He's from New Jersey.  He's the same kid that's been talking to me on Instagram.  I thought he was from Florida but i guess not.  He's a super cool guy, but pretty quiet.  We get a long swimmingly :)  All the other elders are super nice but super quiet.  I feel like I always have to generate the conversation but hey, still love every single one.  I've been hanging out with Elder HANVEY the whole way - the one from AF.  We have a lot to talk about so that's super nice. 

Lima is sick, it reminds me of the run down part of Salt Lake with some Mexican flavor.  La policia is EVERYWHERE!  In the 45 we were on the bus, we saw 16 cops with their lights on! 
Anyways... I gotta get off.  Just know that I'm safe and I am absolutely loving every minute here.  I wouldn't want be anywhere else!

PS - we arrived at the CCM about 3:15 and they made us get up at the normal missionary time.  Very funny, Peru.  Very funny.  Take care family, love and miss you guys!
- Elder Harris III