This week was amazing! Probably the best week I’ve had so far. I learned a ton! Talara is the number 1 city for alcohol consumption on Christmas and New Years in Peru. soo haha
Last p day, we got to play volleyball with our zone. Ahh we had such a good time. It reminded me of all the good times at home.
Tuesday, we had an awesome experience. We visited this family and obviously, talked about Christmas. We shared the video “He is the Gift” and talked a lot about our Savior. Anyways, when we finished, the dad looked at Elder Martinez and I and just said thank you, with the most soft and tender voice. He told us that we were the best present that they ever could’ve received, and that this Christmas had already been the best Christmas because they have us. It really was amazing. After he shared that, the 8 year old daughter started blowing up with questions, and we just sat and watched the dad answer in the most loving manner the questions to his beautiful daughter. Truly amazing.
Wednesday we went to Piura for a multi zone conference. I learned a ton. "We can’t serve or be an instrument for someone that we don’t know. Find out what it means to TRULY know Christ." We had a Christmas program and played bingo. Nothing too special, but.. it was enjoyable none the less :)
Coming home while we were waiting at the bus station, we made a band. haha and yes, I was the lead singer to Stand By Me - Ben E King. #YOAMO (you’re only a missionary once)
Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Chapman from Syracuse. He’s our zone leader and one of my favorite Elders in the mission. He taught me something - we pray to have patience, love, ect... but God doesn’t just give it to us, he provides us with opportunities to grow our patience, love, ect. And now, every time I get impatient with my companion, I think of that. :) haha
Friday we were teaching this family, and the mom is a member, but the dad is of another faith. He said something to us that really touched me. He said " I have so much respect for men like you because even though you’re only 18 and 19 years old, you truly are changing the world". It was so great.
We also had a fireside on Friday night. We had a GREAT turnout.. a whole 5 people came! Pollycarpio, 2 little girls and their mom, and then Harold. They asked me to speak so I just threw something together and it actually turned out pretty good! I talked about building our foundation on the rock of Christ. But once we build our foundation, we can’t just leave it... we need to continue to grow our faith and testimonies every day by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a cool experience for me, because I felt the spirit speak through me... again! He truly is always with us if we allow him to be. On the bright side of the fireside, because no one came, there was a ton of leftover food! We each got 10 empanadas! haha basically we were set for the next week :)
Sunday night, we had our Christmas devotional with all the wards in Talara as well as all the missionaries and it was AMAZING! President Rowley and his whole family was even attending! That night, I truly feel like I found the true meaning of Christmas. It’s about being with your family and the ones you love and remembering the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was amazing to me that a couple teenage boys could put this devotional together to provide a way for families in our area to feel and remember the true meaning of Christmas.
I’ll be honest, I’ve missed you guys this Christmas season.. it really makes me grateful for all the Christmases that we had together as a family. I know for sure that after this Christmas, I won’t ever take another one for granted! So enjoy that time that you have together! haha
I hope it’s a good one! And I hope Santa finds you guys!
Love you! I’ll talk to you on Thursday!!
- Elder Harris IV