Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, March 30, 2015

Not Every Day is Good, But There's Something Good in Every Day


This week was great!  On Monday we went to Paita.. a different city about an hour and a half away to watch the new movie ¨Meet the Mormons¨.  It was super fun to see my old companion Elder Martinez and one of my buddies in the mission Elder Nuñez.  

Tuesday was amazing as well.  Because of the rain, Santos (a member) fence broke so we spent all morning building a new corral for his chickens.  It took like 5 hours but we got it done :) We built it out of sticks and bamboo. It’s dope.

Later in the day I went on splits with Elder Spencer from San Antonio Texas.  We got some great news that Michele got permission from her mom to be baptized. Now we’re just working with her dad.  Oh my word though, she was so happy.  BEAMING with joy.  I wish you could have seen it.  

Wednesday we had back to back splits and I went with Elder Eddington from Pleasent Grove.  He’s been in the mission for 23 months so he knows what he is doing and he really taught me a lot. Like ¨not every day is a good day, but there's something good in every day ¨. I loved that quote.

Friday we had a multi zone meeting in Talara! Ahh it was so good to see my old zone and all my friends. Especially Elder Melo, my old companion and Elder Hanvey.  President Rowley is amazing.  Seriously, I look up to him so much.  He’s the best example of someone that is Humble.  He talked about the powerful testimony of Abinadi and that we have the potential of having a testimony as strong as his.. but it’s not gonna come over night.  Testimony is a word of action.  He invited us to look inside our own conversion and ask ourselves what we´re lacking from obtaining a testimony as strong as Abinadis... 

Saturday... well... we visited this less active member named Koki.  He’s 49 and still lives with his mom. We asked what he remembered about Joseph Smith and he started telling us about Moses so that should tell you a little bit about who were working with here... in that sense, it was a little bit of a hard week.  We had 2 investigators drop this week and didn’t want anything to do with the church.

Elder Soto has been a little stressed out.. and has thrown almost all of his District Leader responsibilities on me and so I’ve just been trying to be a good companion and help him out. What makes even more stress is we didn’t have water for 3 days this week.  As you already know, those days are miserable. And to go even farther, apparently Elder Soto and I ate something on Friday cause we got SICK on Saturday and Sunday.  Yeah... diriah up the wazoo and the worst part, we had no water to flush the toilet. 

OTHER THAN THAT, it was a great week :) I truly love being a missionary.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.. I was looking back the other day and I got a little sad that I had already been out for almost 7 months and I don’t have much time left. I’ve learned so much.. Ahh I wish you could be here :) I wish you could live my life for just a week :) 

I  hope everything goes well for you this week with your hip. I’ll continue to keep you in my prayers... 
love you guys, miss you.

- Elder Harris

Monday, March 23, 2015

Buckets of Rain


Hey!  What up?  This week was nuts.

So there’s this rumer going around in Bellavista that the purpose of the Mormon missionaries is to convert you into the church, then they kill you and take out your eyes... yeah, I don’t know how it got started.   More importantly, I don’t know how people actually believe that... but it’s spreading.

On Wednesday, about 7 PM it started to rain. Ahh we were so happy we were jumping around like little kids... but then it continued to rain... and rain... and rain... then it got a little scary. The ceiling started leaking, the walls like were becoming wet, and water was flooding our room.. we had NO IDEA what to do.  Luckily, I’ve had some experience of shoveling water out at home so we rolled up our sleeves and went to work.  We stayed up super and didn’t get much sleep that night... what made it even worse is that the water dripped all over my bed.  It continued to rain for the next 2 days and the streets were FILLED. I felt so bad for the people here... the majority of their houses have dirt floors and so when it rained, their floors got filled with water and now they’re like mud pits.  

Friday it stopped and it was HOT!  45 degrees celsius.  All the houses were filled with bugs, wet, and HUMID.  It was a long, hot week.  

As for the work here, it’s progressing.  Our investigator Michel has attended church the last 3 weeks in a row.  She’s only 17 and she needs the permission of her parents to be baptized and that’s kind of a problem.. she has a super strong desire to be baptized so were working with her parents now and we’ve been praying a ton for her and her family.  She shared her testimony with us this past week and oh my word, what an amazing experience.  It wasn’t the biggest in the world, but it sure was powerful.  We invited her to share it with her mom and guess what? She did! So her mom is gonna attend this Sunday. Well, were hoping.

As for me, I’m doing great.  I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling the whole time :) I’m just  loving it down here :)  Yesterday, I ate cow liver if you were wondering.. it tasted like cow poop. I wouldn’t recommend it.  OHHH get this, so last night we were planning... and there were these drunk guys just hanging out on the corner.  Then all of a sudden they just started this huge brawl... people were throwing punches, throwing rocks, beer bottles.. it was nuts.

As for my week, that’s about it.  We’re working hard.. Elder Soto and I are getting along great still... probably don’t have much time left.. transfers are in 2 weeks.

I hope you guys had a great week.... tell Ty happy birthday! And I hope everything goes well with the surgery this week.. I’ll be praying for you.  

Love you tons! Miss you guys!

- Elder Harris

Monday, March 16, 2015



This week was... harder than usual. We didn’t have much success at all. We worked hard though. 

Tuesday was hilarious. my hair was getting a little long so Elder Soto offered to cut it... all we had were little kid scissors but I said what the heck and he cut it.  It doesn’t look good at all but I’m a missionary so YOLO. 

Wednesday Elder Soto went to Piura so I got to be on a split with Elder Beidleman and Elder Walker from Herriman. We were in my area and... well quite the interesting day.  This Elder Walker is a big guy, and when we picked him up we were returning to Bellavista and you have to go up this hill and the moto we were in couldn’t get up this hill. We all got out and started pushing.. people are yelling .  . .  it was so funny. 

Thursday I went on splits with Elder Llanos from Lima in his area, Cerro Mocho.  It’s about 30 minutes away from Sullana and the drive is AMAZING. So pretty. So green and tons of tiny villages and palm trees EVERYWHERE.  Miles and miles of rice fields... and its super cool how they grow it. They like drown the fields in water and the rice just grows.  Coconut trees, banana trees, guava plants. 

Friday morning when we ended the intercambio, Elder Soto lost the key to our room.... we didn’t know what to do because there’s no spare.  We finally got a neighbor named Jesus to get us in.. when we walked in, I was expecting to have some water... but the water got shut off some how so basically for the next 3 days we had no water.  Zip zero NADA.  Seriously it was the worst it’s ever been.  Not only did we not shower, flush the toilet, we didn’t even have water to wash our hands... brush our teeth... ahh it was longggggg.  soo dirty.

It’s such a different world here... I wish you guys could see it.  In the US everyone has houses and cars and boats and all this crap and here the people are just praying to have water... to have electricity... to have food on the table for their kids. Like I always say - so humbling. 

Sunday was great.. both of our investigators with a baptismal date attended church.  Michel and Teresa.  We were super happy about that, so pray for them that they can continue progressing. 
So seriously that was about my whole week... we worked and worked and walked and walked and sweated all week. it was hot this week too.. got up to 43 degrees celsius which is like 110 degrees farenheit. But don’t worry, I never stopped smiling. :)

I learned a lot this week... when we truly understand the Atonement of Christ, that is when we will truly live the Gospel.  That’s been in my head all week, and I just love it. So this coming week, I’m going study that like crazy.  

I hope you guys have  a great week... love ya tons! 

- Elder Harris

Monday, March 9, 2015

6 Months!


I can’t believe it has already been 6 months. It feels like just yesterday I left the airport.  This week was great... Elder Soto and I are just about best buds. We literally are talking 24/7.  We are working HARD too.  Last week we got talking and we set a goal that we wanted to BLEED! I don’t know if we meant literally or hypothetically but were just about there.

Tuesday morning was hilarious. We get this knock on our door when were studying right? Like what?  No one ever knocks on our door. Guess who?  Jehova Witnesses! ahh I wish you could have seen their faces when we opened it. We were very nice and we even gave them a Liahona to read. :) 

All week we’ve been sharing messages with the members about Alma and Amulek. I dont know if you remember the story, but they were missionaries together and their message was much more powerful because they had more than one witness (Alma 10:12) we set goals and were looking to really get them involved.

We are helping 2 boys in our ward start their papers to serve a mission. Edder and Juan. PS Juan has a pet squirrel -  like what?

Wednesday was Amazing. We invited Teresa Castillo to be baptized and she said yes. It was a very powerful spirit, something I never want to forget. The only problem is we set the date for April 4th. We forgot that was Conference Weekend. stupid stupid stupid. 

Thursday we taught a Carlos and Yesenia.  They are super awesome the only problem they literally live in another country. Not kidding, THE BOONIES! We literally have to walk an hour in the Sahara desert to find this village of theirs. Yeah pues.  Anyways in this village, no one has power or water. People walk to the city of Sullana and carry buckets of water on their back to their houses every morning. Very humbling. 

Friday night, we had an activity in our ward. We had lot of people show up.  There are 4 missionaries in our ward so all of us had to come up with our own game. I’ll just say my game consisted of eggs, sugar, and a lot of laughter. I’ll leave it at that :) We had a good time :)

So here in Sullana, every Saturday and Sunday we eat with members. It’s so humbling because they don’t have a lot of food and they literally give almost all of it to us. It makes us feel bad but here in this culture it’s very rude to not accept their food.  We do it and just express our gratitude.

Saturday Night was something I’ll never forget. Hitalo Garcia is a less active member we are working with. We had a powerful lesson and after he said the prayer. In this prayer he says "thank you for sending me these Elders, this night has truly changed my life".  The next morning, he was in a white shirt and tie sitting on the front row at church :) Amazingly Beautiful.

Our ward is amazing. The people here truly treat me like their family... church was great. 7 of the people were teaching showed up to church. I love Sullana, I’m serious. The only problem is the sun. Oh man I feel like its magnified by 10 fold. It’s so stinkin’ hot here.  I don’t think I’ve stopped sweating since I got here.  But  I love it... love being here. 
thanks for the love and support.

I love and miss you all –
Elder Harris

Monday, March 2, 2015

They Call me Colorado

Yeah pues que tal familia:) 

This week was awesome.  My first week in my new area of Sullana :) The area is definitely more poor than Negritos.  The majority of the "roads" are THICK dirt.  The houses are like adobes. Haha! They’re literally made of sticks and hard mud.  Not kidding, I could kick over the houses.  They all  have tin roofs and look like they were just recently hit by hurricane Katrina.  Definitely humbling.

Speaking of houses, I’ll tell ya a little bit about mine.  It’s great.. better than the other houses in the area.  Although, we don’t have a roof on half of our house.  Fortunately, where we sleep and study has a roof. :)   Where we "shower" and that stuff, yeah we don’t have a roof.  Where I’m at, the water is only turned on from 4 PM to 8 PM and those just happen to be the hours we are working... so every day we have to return to our room and fill up 2 buckets that are supposed to last us for the coming day.  Those 2 buckets of water are used for all of our water necessities including showers, flushing the toilet, dishes, brushing our teeth, etc.  It’s tough.... very tough.  But on the bright side, I’m becoming a pro at washing myself with the littlest amount of water possible :) I think I could do it with less than a gallon now :) TOMA MUNDO!

Sullana is HOT! HOT HOT HOT.  The worst part is that there’s no escape from it.  It’s not like we can‘return to our room and take a shower or splash some water on our face cause we ain’t got no dang water!  We’re just truckin through one day at a time :)

As for the people, oh I love them.  They make it worth it.  They are BY FAR the most humble people I know. They are so much more accepting of hearing the Gospel.  This week we found 9 new investigators. LIKE WHAT?!?  That’s unheard of.  

Our pensionista is BOMB.  She makes the best food... she’s the wife of the bishop here.  Yes, we have a bishop here.  We actually have a WARD.  That’s because there are 4 missionaries in Bellavista.  The other elders have a nicer part of the city, and well... Elder Soto and I have the outskirts.

Elder Soto and I are doing awesome.  He’s from Honduras and all of his family are members and they’re super supportive.  He’s very easy going, and very humble.  We are already good buddies.  The best part is that his parents sent him to English school when we was young, so guess what? HE SPEAKS FLUENT ENGLISH! Haha!  So when we talk, he speaks in English and I speak in Spanish... and yes, everyone looks at us very weird :) 

Speaking of English, I teach an English class here in Bellavista.  A class of about 20 people... it’s so fun :)  All these little kids sit in with their notebooks and pencils.  Ahh I wish you could see it.  The street we teach on his called Jorge Chavez  and it’s like famous for little kids so whenever we walk down that street the little kids come running to us and give us big hugs.. I feel like I’m famous.

We have an investigator named Carolay that is supposed to be baptized the 28th of March so keep your fingers crossed.  She owns a bakery and she always gives us bread and fruit. There’s this fruit she always gives us called Guba.  haha  It’s like a HUGE pea and you break it open and inside is like a cotton material.  We eat it and I like it :) 

All the people here call me "Colorado" aka Colored boy.  Which is ironic because I’m white.  They also call me Harry Potter... I’m sure Cody got some of that too.. they think that it’s hilarious.  But for real, I love them already.   We are working so hard here... I feel like I never have time to relax and I’M TIRED ALL THE TIME.  But I feel amazing.  I’ve never felt better in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Thanks for everything. All the support and love. 

Alright, smell ya

- Elder Harris