Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, December 28, 2015


Week. Cool.

We played volleyball in Zarumilla on Monday with the zone and you know how much I love volleyball.  We won. Haha. Duh. 

As night time rolled around, I had to say goodbye to my second mom here in Puyango... her name is Mari Estela and she left to Lima for the summer with her family. I seriously love her so much.. she is so nice, always making us food and treating us like her own kids. I’m gonna miss her. :)

Tuesday we had a service project where they asked me to do some gardening.. good thing I had some experience... :) I never thought I would say this but thank you for all those Saturdays out in the yard :) haha

Wednesday we had another service project. We helped the Broncano family put a new roof on their house. We didn’t exactly know how to do it, nor where to start, I mean we’re just a couple of 19 year old boys . . .  Anyways, we chucked the old tin off and put some new tin sheets on, put some nails in and called ourselves good :) Don’t worry though, we made it look nice :) 

We had a lesson with a less active member later that day named Joel. As we entered his house he screams "priesthood power is real!" haha!  We smiled but were a little confused as he continued to tell us what happened.  About a week ago we gave him a blessing because he was super sick and apparently the next day, he was perfect. And for the last couple days, he hasn’t had a single pain or ache. It was a special experience to hear him share his testimony about the power of God and we just sat there, smiling, and shook our heads up and down :) Love that kid.

Thursday was Christmas eve. Yay!  Super fun :)  We bought some presents for some less fortunate families and delivered it to their houses... it was such an amazing Christmas where we didn’t receive, just gave.  I wish you could have seen the faces on these people... pure happiness and joy.  Later that day we went to the Zarumilla Plaza and I dressed up as Santa and danced in front of 100’s of people... WHO ELSE CAN SAY THEYVE DONE THAT???? SVUV (YOLO in Spanish)

Friday was Christmas. It was so fun talking to you guys... I wish I could have been home, Christmas just isn’t the same without family.  Although, I’ll never forget this Christmas because this year, I remembered Him. A perfect child, born to a virgin. A child that changed the world.... that changed my world. He is my Savior... my Redeemer. 

Almost all day, we were with members, laughing and enjoying the special day. We got invited to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Turkey, turkey, anddddddd more turkey!!! Haha!  For breakfast we ate with the Visitacion family, lunch with Balbina and her family, and dinner with the Broncano family.  The last family also got us presents... Hermana Rosa got me a bag from Ecuador and its SUPEERRR DOPEE. I’ll show ya when I get home :) My bag here in the mission is about broken, I was looking for another one anyways. :) 

Saturday was great. So last Thursday we gave a blessing to a woman in our ward named Rosita. On Christmas eve her mom passed away, and it was super sad for the whole family.  She also had a lot of pains in her kidneys and so she called us and asked if we would come over and give her a blessing. Of course we were happy to do it and we ran over there as fast as we could. :)  Anyways, on Saturday she told us how grateful she was for the blessing and that right as we left, a peace and calmness came over her shoulders, and all the emotional and physical pain went away.  A MIRACLE! She told us that the plan of salvation came into her head and she remembered that she will see her mom again. It was a beautiful experience. :)

Sunday we brought like 100 investigators to church MAQUINASSSS. We also found a super cool investigator named Julio that’s also gonna get baptized. We have another lesson with him tonight :) 

Anyways, it was a great week. I hope you guys enjoyed Christmas, like I said, I promise I’ll be there next year (that is if I’m not married by then and my wife makes me go to her family’s house for Christmas) but hey, all fingers crossed.

I love you guys!

-Elder Harris

Monday, December 21, 2015



This week was great! On Monday, we got the closest thing to snow here in Peru, RAIN - and a lot of it. Not kidding, it rained more Monday night than it has in my whole mission. We got soaking wet and we didn’t even care. :) 

Tuesday we had a miracle. We’ve been struggling here a little bit in Puyango opening this new area but God recognized as efforts and blessed us with a kid named Joandry.  About 2 weeks ago, I fasted that we would at least find and be able to baptize 1 person in the month of December.  As the month was coming to an end, and not seeing many prospects, I got a little a little discouraged, but didn’t lose the faith.  :)   On Tuesday we passed by the house of a strong member in our ward named Maria Estela Quiroz.  She told us that her kid hadn’t been baptized yet and he wants to get baptized. We were thrilled and put the baptism date for Saturday :)  God truly does work in mysterious ways.... HE LIVES!

Wednesday we went to an area called Mafaldalama but we call it Narnia because... well... its like Narnia. haha :) ANYWAYS, we went out there to save some souls and we came across a girl named "Dolores".  When she told me I could not hold myself together cause in Spanish, dolores is "pains"! HAHA!  I got a good laugh imagining her mom just finishing giving birth and the doctor is like hey, what do you want to name her? And the mom is like "PAINS!" oh mannn..... :) 

So Wednesday night, get this, we had a ward activity AND I DRESSED UP AS SANTA CLAUS! It was such a hoot, oh my word.   They all wanted me to do it so I was like why not? :) I took pics with the kids, danced around, and shouted HO HO HO in the middle of the street in my gringo accent :) It was super fun for the first hour but then it got hot..... really, really, HOT.   Especially because it’s humid so here.  

Thursday we found a homie named Bruno.  I’ll tell you more about him later – I’ll just say he’s gonna get baptized.

Friday night we were knocking doors and we knock on this door and see a man inside slouched over on a chair. He was a little startled, but he let us enter in his house.  We got to know him a little better and he explained to us that his mom and brother had just recently passed away about a month ago. He lives alone, no wife, no kids, no one. His house was about the size of my room, no roof, completely empty besides a couple chairs and a couple blankets on the floor for a bed.  My heart absolutely broke to see the sadness in his eyes, I just wanted to sit there with him and cry all night long. The pain and the emptiness in this man. Wow. We taught him the plan of God.... about exactly where his mom and brother are... and that thanks to Jesus Christ, he will be able to see them again. It was amazing to see his head look up, and smile... empty holes being filled with hope.  This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 


Saturday was the baptism of Joandry.  We went to the chapel in the afternoon to clean the font and set up some chairs, returned about 6 40 P;M to find Joandry and his family waiting in the chapel.  He looked so happy. :) We chatted for a bit as everyone piled in, we took some pics and we were ready to begin the program. The speakers flaked but good thing that were missionaries and we always have a message on the top of our head to share haha :) 

Joandry took his first step into the font, followed by my companion, Elder Urpeque.  They stood in the font together for a couple moments as the spirit filled the room.  He raised his right arm to a square and repeated: Joandry Sebastian Quiroz Ugaz, habiendo sido comisionado por Jesucristo, yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espiritu Santo.  Amen.
Joandry Sebastian Quiroz Ugaz, having been commissioned by Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

He went down, and came up... clean.  Pure. Without sin. A new person... born again. The room was filled with so much love as everyone congratulated him.  I would seriously do anything to live in that type of atmosphere forever.... just a little longer until we are back into the presence of God.  Just a little longer :) 

I hope you guys have a great Christmas... I love you guys so much. I’m sorry I won’t be able to be there, but I’ll definitely be thinking about you guys. :) 

Have a great Christmas!!

-Elder Harris :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Party in Piura

Monday we played soccer and had chaufa, great.  Later in the night we visited a homie named Jair Socola. He’s 22 and should be getting baptized here pretty soon :) He opened up to us and told us that 3 close members of his family had recently passed away within the last like 6 months. He started crying, and I even shared my thoughts about Todd Miller that had just passed away. We made a connection and I told him that thanks to our Savior, this isn’t the end, that there is more to our purpose... I wish you could’ve seen his eyes, mom. Like there really is hope. 

Tuesday morning we left to Piura to have a Christmas party... oh my word it was so much fun. :) I was there with all my buddies, stress free, just enjoying the Christmas spirit. We played games (went undefeated in ping pong doubles with elder Hanvey if you were wondering) and watched a movie (It’s a wonderful life - super old, but heart warming. You gotta see it). 

We also had a little devotional and it was really special. President Rasmussen asked us if anyone wanted to share their testimony about Jesus Christ and you bet I was the first one to volunteer. I shared about a man we talked to on the bus that was from New York City (who knows why he is here in Piura?) that didn’t believe it God, nor Jesus Christ. A couple other missionaries and I talked about that it was almost like a hole was missing in this man.  I shared about how truly grateful I am for my Savior, and the knowledge and understanding that I have of Him. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I did in the premortal life to come here and become so blessed... who was I?   It talks a lot in my patriarchal blessing about the premortal life and I was always so confused but now that I’m growing up, I realize it more and more why it talks so much about that time. 

Am I doing and accomplishing what I promised God in the pre-mortal life? 

Wednesday I got my package! Oh my gosh, thank you mom! I love you so much. :)  I haven’t opened the presents yet because I think we’re gonna wait till Christmas but all the other missionaries LOVE all the candy you sent me. So thank you for making it special for us :)

About 11 PM Wednesday night we get a knock on our door from a member. She was crying when she told us that her 20 year old nephew had just been in a gang fight in the street and couldn’t get up to go home.  We put some clothes on and walked outside to help him... it was such a sad scene... blood all over his face, broken foot, he was really beat up bad. We shared a little about God and how He can help.  He accepted our invitation to visit him in his house and I think tomorrow we’re gonna stop by for him.. only problem, his mom kicked him out of the house and he’s living on the street now. No bed, nothing. 20 years old. Wow. I saw a little bit of myself in him. Obviously not to that extreme, but I saw myself and who I was 2 or 3 years ago. A littlelost. It’s amazing how much I’ve changed from that time, to the beginning of my mission, to NOW. Huge jumps. 

Thursday I had a work visit with Elder Pajuelo. He’s pretty shy but we had a good time. 

Friday we visited a sister named Consuelo Tinoco. It was a first lesson and we asked her why she let us enter in her house? (CCE) She told us that she usually doesn’t let people in because she’s a very closed off person... but she saw something in us. A light in our eyes that she couldn’t reject. It’s amazing that people here that don’t even know us recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary :) Another cool experience is we were visiting a teenager named Luis. He’s a less active member but a baller. He told us that ever since we’ve been visiting him these last 3 weeks that he’s becoming a happier person.  He wants to be around his family, he doesn’t have a desire to be bad anymore he told us... THE GOSPEL CHANGES LIVES HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT!?!?!?!

Saturday we helped the Visitacion family. hahaha get this, I was in this tree chopping branches and all of a sudden I hit a huge bees nest AND THEY WENT WILD!! They were swarming me and it freaked me out and I straight jumped out of like a 15 foot tree and started to run.  I got stung like 4 times on my face and a couple times on my arm... it was terrible. :) haha   To be honest, I think I might be a little allergic because the stings are still swollen up and they’re HOT. Haha  The worst part is one of them stung me on the nose and so my nose is HUGE and I’m super self-conscious right now btw.... :) 

Later in the night we had a baptism party yay yay yay haha! Like 7 people in the stake got baptized and everyone was really happy. :) 

Sunday was normal. There was no power in the whole city and so the microphone didn’t work, nor the fans and it was just really hard to concentrate. Especially because it was the primary program and those little kids just don’t have strong enough voices. It was cute though :)

We had a great week... :) I feel like I only told like a quarter of it, but I’ve already written a novel and I’ve got other girlfriends that I need to write. 

Thanks for sending pics.. love you mom :)
-Elder Harris