Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, January 26, 2015

Striving to be Exactly Obedient

This week in Peru, they started CARNIVAL.  Ohh man. It’s NUTS here. Basically, every street is filled with kids and water balloons, water guns, buckets of water, EVERYTHING. It literally looks like World War III. It goes until February 20 too. They say every day is the same and it’s actually pretty entertaining! haha

Last week for p day we went to the beach called Lobitos. We just enjoyed ourselves playing football and soccer.. I’m sure you guys are jealous that I get to go to the beach every week.. well, I guess every day. :)

Monday we talked to this guy named Dennis. He’s 22 and he’s deciding whether or not he wants to serve a mission and so were working with him a lot to enocurage him to serve... it was awesome cause Elder Melo shared his story how he’s the 1st missionary in his family to serve with the hope that his children will follow in his footsteps.. and it was a perfect opportunity for me to jump in and say that I’m the 5th generation missionary in my family line. It was amazing to see Dennis eyes light up when he realized that it is possible.

Wednesday, Elder Melo went to Piura for a district leader meeting so I went with Elder Merrell (Pocatello). The funniest thing happened.. so we were out working and we knocked on this door and the lady was like hi, good afternoon. Elder Merrell just stood there.. literally like 8 seconds. Then finally looked at me and was just like "let’s go" in English. I asked him what happened and he told me he.. "froze". He didn’t know what to say so we just left her standing at the door. But just wait, the story gets better. so like 15 minutes later were talking to this guy on the street and I don’t know why but Elder Merrell starts telling the story of what had just recently happened.. and at the end of the story, he was trying to say "I was so embarrassed"! but he said "yo estoy tan emberasado" which actually means “IM SO PREGNANT”! hahahaha! I seriously could not hold it in.. I just busted out laughing.. don’t worry, I felt bad after.

Thursday we watched the Testaments with a less active member, Alfredo. At the end of the film, when Christ comes to the Americas and heals the man’s eyes, I looked over at Alfredo and I watched tears run down his cheek. After the movie, he told us that he knew that this was true and that he knew that Christ lives. It was beautiful. 

Friday, a recent convert Maria Riofrio gave us some food. I didn’t recognize the meat, but it was suprisingly really good. Something I had never eaten before. After I finished, I asked her what it was. She told us it was conejo -- aka BUNNY. Like what???  What makes it worse, is that she has 20 bunnies hopping around her house as pets. She invited us back another time to eat some more... we accepted :)

Sunday.. well a pipe or something broke in the church and so when we showed up.. it was flooded. We ALWAYS have problems in that building, my word. Anyways we rolled up our sleeves and went to work as fast as we could before everyone arrived. It turned out... well... we still had the meeting so count it as a plus :) We also had 50 people show up to church this week. I’m serious, people just kept on flooding in.. hahaha flooded. :)

That’s about all I did this week. We’re working hard over here, striving to be exactly obedient :) I’m glad you guys had a great week too.. . 

I love and miss you guys! 

- Elder Harris

PS - 3 weeks until CODY!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

One of the Best Weeks of my Life

Mother Dear, oh how happy I am to talk to you this week :)

Micah came home?? Has it been 2 years already? Wow! Cody’s the next one... are you counting down the days yet? :) I can’t believe less than a  month! 

A packag huh? Great, love you! If you could throw in my Jazz hat, and some FLAVORED WATER! Ya know, like those squirty things. I don’t need a ton, especially because I should be getting transferred in about a month and it’s a little difficult to haul it all. 

Ahh mom, you’re the best.! :) I loved the little sappy note. Don’t worry, I still love you too . . .  even if I’m 6000 miles away :) 

Hermana Hood spoke at stake conference?? Woahh!  But yeah, she’s super cool. We were only in the same zone for 1 transfer, so I didn’t get to know her super well. Obviously this is my first area so I don’t know what’s hard or not, but yeah I’ve heard it’s one of the harder areas as well. :) What else did she say about the mission? I’m curious to know! 

Yeah, my life is definitely a roller coaster here but I’ll tell ya mom, I truly am loving it out here. It’s definitely the best decision I’ve ever made. Thanks for all the support because my companion doesn’t have a lot. He’s a convert at the age of 20 and he’s the only member in his family. His parents didn’t talk to him for 2 weeks when he told them he wanted to serve a mission. So for that, thank you. 

We went a whopping 4 days without water this week. It’s still horrible, but I’m getting  used to it. The part I just can’t get used to is not flushing the toilet... ahhh it smells horrible. I wish I could capture it in a jar and bring it home so you guys could smell it! And for that reason, we leave the window open all the time and because we have the window open, we have MOSQUITOS. EVERYWHERE. Not kidding, I think I have 100 mosquito bites on my hands, arms, FACE. 

BUT, Elder Melo and I are getting along great. He’s hilarious, and he’s already taught me so much. But he’s got allergies up the wazoo so he’s literally sneezing 24/7. I feel bad for him. 

It’s been a tough week to direct and lead everything in the area, but nothing is impossible with the help of the Lord, right? :) 

Thursday, President Rowley and his wife came to our area to inspect our rooms. Luckily we had just cleaned it so we were safe :) 

Later in the afternoon, we were teaching this kid named Harol. He’s a recent convert and I guess his little brother wanted to sit in on the lesson but Harold was annoyed with him so we left to teach in the back room. What surprised me was what happened next. The little 12 year old boy had such a desire to listen to the word of God that he went outside and sat at the window of the back room so he could listen to the conversation. WOW.

That night was a little rough. We were teaching this Hermana and a great spirit was present. Within 3 minutes, her husband walked in and he started to bash, tear, rip everything we were teaching. He yelled and continued to stomp us to the ground for 5 minutes. It was tough. In the moment, I had nothing to say so we just told him we were sorry for offending him and that we just wanted the best for his wife.  Somehow, we were able to end the night on a spiritual high. I don’t know how, but I know that God had his hand involved in this one.

Friday we had a FHE with the family Celi. There dad/husband just passed away about 5 months ago, so we talked about the Plan of Salvation and where exactly their dad was. It was such a special spirit and to see the look in the little girls eyes was something I’ll never forget. Before we left, they gave us some food. It was like 3 little fishes... on a piece of bread. Like what??? I don’t know.

Sunday was BOMB! We had 11 investigators show up to church! Like what!?! That’s unheard of here. Usually we have 1 MAYBE 2. I also gave a talk in church yesterday... I talked about how we can become true Disciples of Christ. I felt a little unprepared because we’ve been so busy this week and I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but the Spirit helped me out and it actually ended up pretty good :) I wish you guys could have heard it!

This week has been one of the best weeks of my life. Never in my life have I worked so hard.  Elder Melo and I were talking last night that we just feel good. Accomplished.  It’s amazing that the harder I work, and the more obedient I am, the more Spanish I can understand. The gift of tongues is real.. but faith without works is dead. Right.? :)

Anyways, that’s about all. A great week for the both of us, I suppose :)

I hope you guys are doing great, I’m excited to hear about Skyler next week,

Love you and miss you! 

- Elder Harris IV

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Companion News


To be honest, our area is struggling. It feels like everyone that we are teaching right now just isn’t pulling through. It’s a little frustrating, but everything is possible with faith, right? :)  Oh and by the way, at 2 o clock, I’m studying Spanish :) Just in case you were wondering.

Yes, transfers were this week. My new companion is Elder Melo from Guayaqui,l Ecuador. He’s amazing! He was the Elder that I went on splits with the first day I was in the mission... who would have known we would be companions!   It was nice because we already knew each other.  :) I can tell that were going to work hard though... he’s not here to mess around.  I could not be more excited:) He’s a little older than me.... but hey. No biggie :) He’s 26!   We slept in the ZLs room last night again and everyone thought it was really funny that he was baptized when I was born. So yeah... 

There are about 6 Elders left in Talara. My old companion Elder Martinez is the new ZL in Paita, and my friend Elder Hanvey from AF got transferred to Talara so you bet I was happy to see him.   :) We had a lot of catching up today :) 4 of the 6 Elders that left Talara are now ZLs so yeah wow go Talara.

Also, I think I told you last week, but my camera screen broke.  I can’t see much - almost nothing. What do you think I should do? Also, 4 MONTHS!  I can’t believe I’ve been out here this long. It feels like I just left!

This week was great. Last p day we went to the beach of course.. but this one had a pier so we walked and sat on the edge and just enjoyed the view of the ocean for a while. :) We even saw sea turtles!   Hahaha!  So listen to this . . . there was this sand hill by the beach.. and we walked to the top and found this board so what do 8 - 19 year old boys do? SANDBOARDING! As you can tell, I miss snowboarding :) 

Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Merrell from Pocatello. We worked hard, of course. They have some great investigators with some great questions in their area. For example, we asked this lady how her reading was going. She told us she had just finished 1 Nephi and she was excited to get to the part where God and Jesus Christ visit him in a grove of trees.  A little embarrassed, we kindly explained to her that Nephi and Joseph Smith were different people. Then to make things worse, in the closing prayer, she was like "thank you for sending me these Jehova Witnesses to teach me".... I was shocked. After the prayer, we explained to her that we were actually MORMONS.

Saturday was bomb. We had a dinner with some members but this dinner.. well... it was a little authentic :) We made a fire on the side of their house and cooked a chicken. It was something I had never done before, so of course I loved the adventure :) It’s a good thing I had so much practice making fires up the canyon! Haha!  I smelled like smoke for the rest of the night and I didn’t even care! ha!

That’s about all I did this week. We’re working hard, teaching hard and preaching the good word. 

I hope everything is great at home! I miss and love you guys!

- Elder Harris IV

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Getting Hot!


No need to worry about me, I’m feeling great! Who would’ve known taking those pills would’ve helped so much :) I should have just listened to you the first time :) When am I gonna learn.........

It sounds like you had a great week... we also had a bomb week :)  Last p-day was hilarious. So we had to help this old lady pick up some meat at the market in Talara for a ward party that we had. We sat in this meat section for like an hour.. and trust me when I say it’s NOTHING like the states. I about threw up... I’m serious.

I was lucky I didn’t.  I would’ve loved to see you and Kenz there. :)  We bought like 25 lbs of meat and it was horrible because I had to haul it back to our area. The meat is fresh too - so all the juices and blood kept splashing all over me.

On Tuesday we had our ward party....... trust me again when I say it’s NOTHING like the ward parties we have in Alpine. This was Authentic! :) Everyone was getting’ their boogy on and having a good time. I wanted to dance so bad but unfortunately I just had to watch from the sidelines. It didn’t matter if you were 80 years old or 5 years old, you were dancing. Ohhh and our president - NEVER in my life have I seen someone go so hard at a dance before. It was ridiculous :) 

There’s also some new people in our ward. They’e great, but their granddaughter is nuts. Her name is Maria and she’s like 8 and she’s ALWAYS trying to hold my hand. At first it was kinda cute, but now it’s just creepy.

New Years was DOPE! We made Tacos as a zone and they were the best dang tacos I’ve ever had. Oh and the best part...... Muñecos! Human size dolls that they burn!  And it’s not just every street or so... EVERYONE had one. They like tie them to posts and burn them like some satanic ritual or something.  Pretty cool.. I’ll send a pic :) 

Since a lot of the people here don’t have a lot of common sense, someone lit a firework off in a warehouse and little did they know... it started on fire!  It reminded me of the Alpine fire we had last year... it was HUGE! I thought it was a little interesting that the whole city only has 3 fireman. They recruited some of the citizens to help put out the fire. Like what?

Also, they weren’t kidding when they said Talara is number 1 in consuming alcohol city in Peru. EVERYONE was drunk. Every house had a party, I’m not kidding they love new years here. Parties are still going on... it’s nuts. 

I can’t believe it’s already 2015. Looking back, I believe 2014 was the best year of my life. I shared in my testimony yesterday – and talked about how it was the year that I truly gained a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I made some resolutions for this coming year but they’re a little personal so maybe I’ll share them another time :)

Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Campo from Ecuador. We helped Presidente Gutierez put a new roof on his house. It took us about 2 hours but we got it done. Just a little pay back for everything that he’s done for me. 

Sunday. well.. like I said, everyone was still partying so we had a whopping 2 people at 9 AM when church started. Yeah so that was great - a little discouraging

It’s starting to get HOT. I thought November and December was hot.. no.. not even close - and they say the worst is February. Because it’s so hot.. there’s A TON of mosquitos. They’re always in our room because we have to leave the window open so every morning I wake up with like 10 new bites.. but hey.. no biggie. :)

That’s about all. Everything is well. Martinez is leaving next Sunday so I should be getting my new companion by the time I write you next.  I’ll be sure to let you know what happens.   :)

I love you and miss you! Have a great week! 

- Elder Harris IV