Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, February 23, 2015


I got transferred.  I’m in a city called Sullana.  I’m in a little bit of the outskirts of  Bellavista.  It’s awesome, I love it here.  It’s very different from Talara... very different. IT’S HOT! They told me it’s the hottest part of the mission.  My new companion is Elder Soto from Tuaqucawapa Honduras.  We only have a couple hours together but were already good buddies. I know that this is going be a good transfer :)

As for our room... oh man. Well... a little worse than the other. Unfortunely, I don’t have pics.. but I’ll send some next week :) As for the area, I’m super pumped to work here. My good buddy Elder Beidleman came with me this morning to Sullana so I’m super excited about that.

As for this week.. we had a good one :)

We worked hard as usual.. not much happened.  On Wednesday night, I started feeling a little sick though. The next morning I started feeling in but Elder Melo and I decided to get going and leave for the afternoon.  Haha.  We were sick as dogs but we were trucking through making the most of it.  It was HOT and we didn’t have any success that day.. which made it a little longer.. but a good experience :)   When we got home, I was about to die I was so sick. I took a shower and went to bed. That night might of been the longest night of my life.  Usually our room is like 100 degrees, but I was so cold and I had like 3 blankets. I remember waking up and I had no idea where I was.. throwing up all night.. ahh it was horrible. 

Saturday was fun.  We had this service for this hermana.. basically we do work in her "yard", and then we get the reward of burning it. I don’t know if you’ve seen Cast Away but when he makes the fire he’s like jumping around the sand.. yeah that was us.  

That night, we received the news about our transfers. The next day at church, I gave my "farewell".  Seriously they asked me to speak at least 7 different times throughout the day.  After, I visited the families that I was the closest to... wow.  It was hard. I now understand what dad was talking about when he said it’s harder to leave your first area than it is to leave for your mission.  I truly love those people and consider them my family.  

One family bought me a great big chocolate cake... ahh it was amazing :) We had a great big party and then I was on my way.. we slept in a different Elders room last night because I had to leave Talara at 5 AM.  We took the 2 hour bus ride to Piura and then I got on another bus with the other Elders going to Sullana.. Elder Beidleman, Campo, and Eddington.  It’s about an hour and 15 minutes north of Piura.  I just barely got here so I don’t know much else... but I’m excited about this transfer. I’m going work :) I won’t let you guys down!

But for real, I’m glad you guys had a great week.  The pics are awesome, keep enjoyin’ it!

- Elder Harris

Monday, February 16, 2015


Family plus Cody!

hey hey, sounds like you guys had a pretty exciting/busy week :) i loved the pics... Cody looks looks great. And skinny! And wow that suit looks horrible... thank heavens  you bought him a new one :) All of  you look so dang happy, wish I could’ve been there for the big day!

For real though, this week was awesome.  Monday I printed some pics in Talara and I accidently left my memory at the print store.. I found out when we were in our room in Negritos and I had a little panic... so what did I do? Prayed.  :) We went back and it was right there! Who woulda known... prayer is real friends :)

Tuesday we had a district meeting... and Elder Melo asked if I would teach it... the morning of. Yeah so I just put it into overdrive and it actually turned out pretty well. :) I talked on how we need to find the needs of our investigators.

Wednesday... well Wednesday wasn’t the easiest day for me.  Obviously all day I was thinking about you guys and at what time he was gonna be there.  I kept saying to myself... "ahh…  he’s at the airport right now!!" and in reality, I really didn’t know.  But it was a  good day and I worked my butt off just to try and occupy my mind and we actually found some new investigators :) I think my eyes watered up.... but I wouldn’t tell you I cried even if I did.

Friday E Melo was sick. Not kidding, sick as a DOG!  Yeah so I had a good time playing "mommy" :) Later in the night, he asked me to give him a blessing and that was an awesome experience for the both of us.  We’re great friends right now but I felt our relationship grew that night.  It was a beautiful blessing, I only say that cause it was the Spirit speaking, not me :)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a Valentine this year #missionaryswag.  So while everyone was with their "partner", I was stuck with a broom cleaning the church :) I’m pretty sure I’ve told you about the man that helps us clean the church every week... Policarpio Saavedra? He continues to impress me every week. Seriously one of the biggest examples to me out here. He’s 84 and blind and every week, he’s at the church working his butt off. No one asks him to do it, he just does it cause he loves the Lord.  It’s amazing.

Ahh get this... so Saturday night we were walking and this little boy ran out in the street and got hit by a Moto.  It freaked me out and I kinda froze but I think everything was okay.  We didn’t stay much longer.

Sunday. I had another talk :) Usually Igive a talk about every 3 weeks.  Anyways... I wasn’t super nervous UNTIL the first counselor of the mission and his possy stepped in on our Sacrament meeting.  It went well though, I wish you guys could’ve heard it :) I talked about Following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. 

During the second hour, not kidding SECONDS before Sunday school started, President Gutierez asks Elder Melo and I if we would teach the class. Of course we were happy to do it :) We whipped something together and went for it! 

3rd hour well... a member of the family of Pollicarpio Saavedra was sick.. really sick and she needed a blessing NOW.  So we left to her house and when we walked into the room... wow... she was sick. We gave her a blessing while she was just laying there in this rotted bed and it was amazing because the Spirit just filled the room.  I haven’t heard anything about how she’s doing, but I can imagine she’s improving :)

As for news this week:
We have been working with this less active member named Brad. He’s 18 and he’s been attending church the last like 5 weeks and yesterday we talked about a mission and he told us that he wants to do it.  His mom isn’t a member and his dad is out of the picture...  but were hoping that he will continue with his desires. Anyways we’re super pumped for him :) 

Well.. as you know.. our water shuts off occasionally.  I’ve been here for 4 months so I kinda know the routine. We have water for about 2 weeks and then it will shut off for about 5 days and those 5 days are MISERABLE. Anyways...our water shut off and we were pretty bummed... BUT it came back on within 2 DAYS! ahh you should have seen us.. we were jumping for joy we were so happy :) The miracles of The Lord :)

LOS SANCOROS. ahhh they’re horrible. Mosquitos. Not kidding, I bet I have 100. No joke. They EAT US ALIVE. Well me especially.  We basically have 2 options in the night. a) we open the window and have mosquitos or b) we die of a heat stroke in the night cause it’s so hot.  We have been trying EVERYTHING we can think of to get rid of these mosquitos.. so if you have any ideas... send them our way.  The Peruvians gave us incents that we light in our room... it’s weird and it smells bad but we’ve been trying it and it helps.. but.. I don’t know. Let me know if you got anything.

Ahh okay this is the best one, I saved the best for last :) We got some new neighbors... :) Where we live, there are 3 different rooms. Like there is one door we open, and then there is 3 more doors to other rooms. Okay? Anyways.. it turns out that our new neighbors are A CHURCH! Haha!  They’re called MMM Mundial Misional.. algo asi.  There is huge welcome signs everywhere.. it’s ridiculous. I think were goning to call president Rowley soon and see if we can change. 

Transfer are the end of this week.  We get the news Saturday night and we leave Monday morning. So.. we get about a day. I don’t know if I’m heading out... about a 50/50 right now  but by the time I write you next week, I’ll know for sure.

Alright give Cody a big ol kiss for me :)

- the only Elder Harris you have now

Monday, February 9, 2015

5 Months Today


If you guys didn’t know, today marks the day that I’ve been out for 5 months.  I can’t believe it, I never thought this day would come.  I’ve already learned and grown so much in these past couple months, I’m excited for what’s to come.

Last week for p day, went to the beach :) no surprise there and played some soccer, and just enjoyed it :) After we went to this restaurant and they gave us..well.. in fact, I don’t know what it was. like tiny fried octopus.  Ahh speaking of weird food, this week.. I ate STINGRAY!  Like I didn’t even know you could eat that stuff. 

Overall though, it was a little slow this week. We had 16 appointments fall IN A ROW. ha  So we have been working with this list of less active members that we have.. and on Wednesday, we knocked on the door of 4 of them, ALL of them were dead? like... what? Dead.

BUT, we do have a goal as a zone to talk to 1200 people this week, and in 3 days, we have 462, so were working hard with that :)  In that same zone meeting, Elder Chapman said something that I figured Ii would share with you guys.  He said "perhaps unhappiness comes from sacrificing what we are working towards for what we want in the moment".  Go ahead, take it or leave it. :)

Ahh.. so listen to this,  it’s funny. This lady we teach lives in the boonies, right? And we gotta walk through like a 500 year old cemetery and we found this casket. An open casket.   Elder Melo and Harol were like "DUDEEE get in! it would be such a funny picture!".. and of course, my teenage Braeden kicked in and I was like yahhh you’re right! That would be a funny picture! I was just about to do it but then your voice came in to my head and said BRAEDEN! Don’t worry, I didn’t do it :) You’re welcome, mom :)

Things are great here.  My companion and I are getting along great. Transfers are in 2 weeks and I’m getting a little sad because I think I might be heading out and I don’t want to leave Negritos.  I love the people so much.. I truly consider them family.  

My Spanish is great. . .better every day :) Ah this is funny. so this girl wanted her practice her English with me... so she started talking to me and I didn’t even realize it until like 40 seconds of talking. haha It’s like my brain can’t even decipher what language it is, but I know I understand it. 

Anyways.. that’s about all. I hope everything goes great with the family this week.  I’ll definitely be thinking about you guys.  Just don’t forget about me :)

Have a great week.. give Cody a big ol kiss for me! 
love you guys, miss you!

- Elder Harris

Monday, February 2, 2015

Interviews, Service Projects & Fasting


We played carnival as a zone this last week for our pday. Yes.. we filled up 500 water balloons and just went nuts :)

Wednesday we had interviews with President Rowley.  Things went fine.. just the normal catching up:) He’s seriously such a good guy, such a good example.  I really wish you guys could know him. Anyways.. we talked a lot about finding new investigators in the interview, por medio de contacting in the streets.

SOO Thursday I had an exchange with Elder Chapman…and we contacted 77 people on the streets!  I’m tellin ya.. we’re breakin RECORDS here. We made a promise with God before we left in the morning to help us find 75 people...and well, we did it :) 

Earlier in the morning, we had a service. We had to prune this lady’s trees..when we were finished, she asked us if we wanted to bag the sticks, or burn them. Hahaha!  Before she could even finish her sentence we both shouted BURN THEM! haha :) After she wanted us to "re-cement" her house.. like I don’t know who trusts 2, 18 year old boys to cement a house. Neither of us had a clue what to do, but we went for it and hey, turned out pretty good :) So hey if anyone needs some cement work, hit me up.

As a reward, she made us lunch. She cooked a chicken over the fire we had just made and well... let’s just say it wasn’t all.  Yes, I’ve had diariah for the past week.  BUT, we worked harder than ever, like I said, 77 contacts in one day was exhausting, but never in my life have I felt more close to my Savior.  We were talking, and I said it was almost like we were touching.  Such an amazing experience.

Friday we had a comp inventory. Elder Melo was telling me that he’s never felt more obedient on his mission before. It made me feel good.. at least were doing something right :) We had an activity that night..just about invited every person in Negritos.. and well. we had a great turnout.  2 people showed up.  0 members and president and his family showed up 2 hours late. Welcome to Talara.:)

To be honest though; it was a horrible feeling: almost like all my motivation was drained: I went home and just went to bed.

Saturday we started our fast after lunch.  We were fasting that we would find some new investigators.  AND, the next day at church, we saw 2 women we didn’t recognize, and after Sacrament they came up to us.  1 was a member from Lima and the other was her sister that lived in Negritos. The sister, Flor, told us that she would love it if we stopped by her house so she could learn a little more about the church.  Elder Melo and I were shocked.,. but pumped! We have an appointment with her this Wednesday.. stay tuned.

A hermana in our branch got her mission call this week.  She’s the only member in her family, so I can imagine how hard of a decision it was for her.  She’s going to La Paz, Bolivia and were super pumped for her. The reason I’m telling you this is because when she was speaking, she started  crying and just said "I wish my family could have been here to hear me present my mission call".  It about broke my heart... so for that, once again,I know you’ve heard it a thousand times..but THANK YOU for all the love and support back home.. writing me every week. You’re truly the best family in the world!  

les extra├▒o y les amo!}

- Elder Harris

PS: T-minus 10 days until Cody!!!!!!!