Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Trip to the Mountains


Great week, like always. Last P day, we woke up at 4 30 and took a bus ride for 2 hours into the mountains of Peru... we got to a little city called Morropón.  Beautiful! The mountains were super green, and super pointy.  We took a moto deeper into them mountains about 20 minutes and it was dope cause we got to ride off the back... anything goes here in Peru and I love it! We took about a 2 hour hike deeper into the mountains up to this waterfall called las Cataratas.  Oh my word it was breathtaking. Super pretty.. it made me think of horsetail falls and made me a little trunky but hey we enjoyed it :)  We came back, enjoyed some prime duck and rice and got back on the bus :) Seriously, one of my favorite Pdays.

Tuesday was great.  We set a baptismal date for one of our investigators Oscar for July 27th - 2 days before the birthday so I hope it turns out well. :) 

Wednesday was amazing. We had a lesson with the family and we talked about the Plan of Salvation... they had a ton of questions specifically the grades of glory, and the Celestial Kingdom.  I opened my heart and bore a real personal testimony that the only reason that I was here is so that people here in Piura have the opportunity to live with God in the Celestial Kingdom.... as a family... Forever.  The spirit really hit hard, it was really pretty.

Thursday we got to see the transfers a little early cause were secretaries YOLO.  Elder Nosa and I are staying another transfer together... We weren’t super surprised, we kinda figured we would stay here.  I’m happy about it - Elder Nosa and I get along fine.  Haha. I truly have been blessed with companions in the mission.. I’ve never had a companion that’s a stinker. Except for Elder Soto (just cause he’s reading everything I’m writing) :) It turns out that he’s the new assistant.  I was super happy about that, cause I’m going be able to see him a lot more

Friday I got some great news... My friend, Harol, in Negritos that came with us to appointments every day recently sent in his mission papers! It’s a super big deal for me, cause we talked about it so much and he was always super iffy... super cool as well.  I got to see him this morning when we were helping out with transfers.. he was going to go on splits with a missionary for today so I got to see him. But the best part about the whole thing, is that his dad is going to get baptized.  I don’t know if you remember me telling you about this but when we were trying to teach his dad, he didn’t want ANYTHING to do with us and now he’s getting baptized!  My testimony is so strong that Christ changes people. I have seen SO MANY people here in the mission that do a full 180 degree change.
Later in the night, we had dinner with Hermano Hernandez. i don’t think I’ve talked about him but he seriously is an example to the world.  I loved what he said "what’s the point of keeping everything I have for myself? I want to share everything I have with everyone!" 
People are amazing...

Thanks for everything.. .thanks for the package that you just sent. Love you guys.. have a great week...

-Elder Harris

Monday, June 22, 2015

Miracle #997852

Hey family, 

Sooo last Monday was dope like I told you ... we went to Catacaos which is known for its art.  Art of all kind,... Porcelin, wood, clay, you name it, they have it.   All of it is handmade and its actually pretty cheap.  We only had like an hour to be there cause we were so busy, but I really enjoyed it.  I would love to go back again. 

Monday night I got a call saying that Elder Corpona got hit by a moto.  Great, right? He was rushed to the emergency room and got some stitches in his face but he’s good. For some reason, they had him stay the night in the hospital so we had party round 2 which was awesome.  

Tuesday I spent the majority of the day in migrations with Elder Yujra and there ain’t nothin fun about that so I’ll move on. There’s this investigator we have named Oscar and he moved to Lima like a month ago and we thought he was staying but jokes on us because he moved back and we were super happy about that.  We talked about baptism and how that it’s the way that we follow Christ.  Updates to be posted......

Thursday was amazing.  Try miracle 997852 because our investigators Nestor and Patricia  ARE NOT MOVING TO CHICLAYO!!!!!! Apparently Nestor found a job here in Piura and they’re staying. When he was telling us this we were so happy for them, smiling from ear to ear.  He said "God blessed me with this job because I’m following him.  I am beginning to see the hand of the Lord in my life every day".  It’s so simple but I think that sometimes we make it more complicated than it needs to be. When we follow Him, we’re blessed.  There’s nothing else to it.  

Anyways, we talked about the great plan of Salvation and how marriage is key to His plan... they should be getting married in about 2 or 3 weeks.  So this was also something funny that happened.  We were like sorry Nestor, there’s not gonna be church this week (because of the dedication of the temple) and not kidding he about had a heart attack.  He was like "WHAT?! NO... I NEED to go to church" haha 

Anyways, speaking of the dedication.. it was amazing. I don’t know if you guys saw it, but the spirit was so strong.  Elder Uchtdorf came to Trujillo and oh the members were so excited.  He said something in his talk that I really liked. "Today is a commitment to walk with God with all my heart... so that my children will see me as an example and desire to follow me" I really liked that. One of my favorite parts of the dedication was when they showed the "day by day" pics of the building of the temple.  As I looked around the chapel, almost every member was in tears... NEVER in my entire life have I seen a group of people so happy.and the temple is still 6 HOURS AWAY.  I know I talked about it last week, but it makes me so grateful to know that we have a temple 5 minutes from our house.  How blessed we truly are.  You have no idea.

Anyways, to close on a good note, we’ve been eating a lot of rabbit lately and I think it’s my new favorite meat.  If you happen to come across it at Kohler’s, be sure to buy it.

Anyways, espero que tengan una buena semana... les extraño y les amo.  No caigan. That’s for you Cody :) 

nos vemossssss

- Elder Harris

Monday, June 15, 2015

Piura Swaaaggg

I don’t know if you remember last week but I told you that we fasted so that this family would have the desire to get married... so Monday night we had a lesson with them and it was the most amazing miracle.. they just flat out told us "we want to get married.." how and when can we do it? Ahh!  We were so happy for them that we all just looked at each other and were like "a miracle".  But... there is some bad news.  They also informed us that they’re not staying.. they’re moving to Chiclayo which is like another city 4 or 5 hours from here.  We were pretty bummed about that but Nestor said something that I thought was interesting... "a donde me mandas, iré".. aka "I’ll go where you want me to go".  That song was always his favorite.  It fortified my testimony that God knows better than I do.. and that there must be something in Chiclayo that they need.   
We don’t know exactly when they’re leaving.. but they want to get married here in Ignacio Merino.. so we´ll keep you updated.

Tuesday was our last multi zone meeting with President Rowley... It was all based around The Atonement and was really good. I learned a ton and I also had a little personal revelation that gave me a little bit of motivation "You couldn’t work for 2 years?.. Look what I did for, YOU, Braeden."
I’ll never forget President Rowley’s last testimony.  The power and spirit that he has leaves no doubt in my mind that he was called by God.  He is a true disciple.  During his testimony, he said something similar to what I just shared... he said "if He did this for me, what am I willing to do for Him?" It made me think, what truly are we willing to do for Him? Are we willing to submit to His will, whatever it may be? To follow Him? To die for Him? But more than that, are we willing to be a disciple forever? 

Wednesday was a little sad.  My trainer Elder Clawson left... he was a great companion but more than that, a friend. I remember we would stay up every night late talking... in English because yolo.  But for real, I’m really going to miss him.

Friday we had a "family home evening - ward style" butttt it lacked a little planning and coordination and it didn’t turn out as well as we planned... but it was cool cause the Relief Society gave us cake and who doesn’t like cake? 

Sunday the family I told you about Garcia Tipismana attended church for like the 5th time in a row. They’re solid.  In church, we talked about temples and how blessed that they now are to have a temple so close in Trujillo... it’s like 6 hours.  It was amazing to see how happy the people there were and I just kinda slouched down on the bench realizing that we have a temple 5 minutes from our house. It does make me grateful for how blessed we truly are to live in Utah.. so go to the temple. Today. NOW.

Okay okay I’ve got some great news. Elder Rengifo, my old companion in Bellavista called me last night and he told me that 2 of the investigators that we were teaching got baptized last Saturday.  I don’t know if you remember the family Paz Quintana? Remember I told you how the first time we walked in their home, they told us to get out cause they didn’t want anything to do with us? And then they came to church like a month later? Yeah.. them.  Their 2 kids got baptized and the whole family is now active in the church.  Elder Rengifo told me that they are currently saving up money to get married and go to the temple to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity.  Can you believe it? I was so happy to hear it.  It truly has been one the of the biggest miracles I’ve seen on my mission.  Christ changes lives. I will forever stand as a witness of that.  Not only because I’ve seen Him change others, because He has changed me. 

I love you guys.. :)

-- 1 of your 3 favorite sons

 PS - our apartment is nice but it’s small . . . about the size of my room but hey we got concrete walls so what uppppp.  The place where I live now is nicer than my old area and we do live on the 3rd floor so it’s a real challenge to walk up the stairs every day but were makin’ it work.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Birthday Tradition in Peru


This week was great. Last Monday we had a party for Elder Clawson here in the office.. it’s dope, the tradition here in Peru is that you smash eggs and flour on their heads.. it’s funny :) Monday night, I spent the night in the Hospital with Elder Yujra... we had a party :) haha!  But he’s doing really well now... they let him out on Wednesday and he’s up and walking normal now. BUT, I did learn some things at the hospital.  Remember how I told you that the mosquitos are really bad here?  So they’re now carrying 2 super bad diseases. The first one is called Dengue and the second is worse.. it’s called Chikungunya. A lot of the missionaries have been getting sick lately.. especially in Tumbes.

Tuesday I got to go on splits with a good friend of mine in the mission.. Elder Smith from California.  We were talking about the Atonement of Christ and he said something quite interesting… that maybe the sin isn’t that important to God.. because His Son already paid for them.. but what’s important is that we use the atonement to come closer to Him.

Tuesday night we got pizza... GLORIOUS

Wednesday was just peachy as well :) We had a lesson with Hermana Franchesca about repentance. We talked about Enos and how he gave everything he had into his prayer, and then he was forgiven and how we should follow his example.

Thursday we had a zone meeting.  It turns out there’s 4 people in my zone that were with me in the CCM.  It was super good to see them all again.  Elder Haws, Hogge, McCelwain, and Hermana Shumway. Later in the day we helped the family Gomez redecorate a room... we got lasagna after oh yeah..  win win plus plus!  ANYWAYS... we were walking home from this service activity and I see a lemon on the road so did what any 18 year old boy would do... I kicked it. Hard. It bounced for a while... the wind must of blew it or something cause it hit the bumper of a car and the alarm went off... haha!   We just kept walking like nothing happened.   Stupid.  Stupìd.  Stupid.

Friday was dope.  I went on splits with Ledwey Lengua.. I dont know if I told you about him but he served with Cody in Resistencia.. It was so fun talking to him about the mission and what he remembered about Cody.  He told me that he was always super energized and had such a strong desire to work.  It made me a little trunky. I miss him.

Saturday we started our fast.  We fasted for a family of investigators that were teaching.  I think I’ve told you about them before.  We fasted that they would have a desire to get married, and then get baptized.  Stay tuned.  Yesterday, Sunday was great.  I always love fast Sundays in Peru... very different than in the Utah :) Haha!  But it was good.  I had the opportunity to share my testimony with the ward.  I had been thinking a ton about the Atonement so i talked a little bit about that.  The spirit was strong.

Yeah so check this out... so there’s a large number of people here that speak Quechua, right? It’s like the native indigenous Incan language.. So now that my Spanish is better  I’m picking up a little Quechua. :)  Tucui sonjoy warmi.  wasiiki munay.  yaku nini apu.

Love you guys... hope you have a great week :) les extraño! :)

- Elder Harris

¿quiere que le digo la verdad? -Elder Nosa

Monday, June 1, 2015

This Week Was Great, En Serio

This week was great, en serio.

I cannot tell you guys how much I’ve learned this week.  It seems as if every week in my mission, I learn more and more.  There are so many people that I associate with every day that are just such good examples. We have a recent convert named Raquel.  She was baptized last month and she literally is the nicest. I think I told you guys a little bit about her but she reminds me of Grandma Kris.  Their personalities are identical! We walk in her house and she was like oh my word you guys need some food don’t you.. sit here, I’m going to go cook something.  We were like uhhh okay yeah we´d like some food.

A less active member named Francesca... we talked about repentance and it reminded me a lot of Skyler’s talk that he gave.. I loved what he said that we shouldn’t think of repentance as wickedness.. but rather as humility and strength.  What a great gift we have to be clean. If you haven’t seen the Mormon Message  "LIFT", go watch it.  It’s amazing. Tell me what you think after :)  "That’s what service does,... it heals us"

OH MY WORD - WE MET A CRAZY LADY THIS WEEK.. We just knocked on her door and she let us in and then she started talking.. and talking.. and talking.. literally like 20 minutes straight.  She kept repeating.. "LOOK AT THIS DOOR.. THIS DOOR IS MADE OF WOOD... WOOD COMES FROM THE EARTH." Like what?

She was like hey pass me your Mormon bible and then she starts like this chant to God, opens to a random scripture, looks at me and was like "READ IT!  Let’s see what God wants us to hear".   Iwas like oh my word, you’re nuts and I closed the Book of Mormon and she about had a heart attack. She was yelling at us telling we "rejected the word of God from our own bible".  Then she kicked us out.  So . . . 

We have this family... Nestor and Patricia and they’re amazing.  Seriously, I wish you guys could be here. I am witnessing a miracle.  I am watching them change their lives.  They’ve come to church the last 2 Sundays and it’s amazing to see how big of a difference it has made in their relationship and in their family. 

I heard a quote this week that sometimes we take the Gospel for granted.  It’s true.  As a missionary, I’m always thinking about how everything was taken from me.. my family, my friends, my house, all the good things that I had in Utah.. but then I realized, how grateful that I am, and we are, that we have the Gospel.  How grateful I am that we have knowledge of our Savior and how to become clean. That we have the knowledge that we can live forever with our families in His presence.. It truly is a wonderful gift.

This week was great... but... yes, we did have some problems.  So Saturday, one of the Elders here in the office had some pain in his stomach.  We told him to drink some water and he would be fine.. but it got worse, and worse and by the afternoon, he couldn’t even stand up.  We ended up rushing him to the emergency room and apparently his appendix has ruptured and was poisoning his blood and he needed an emergency operation.  It was a little scary, but everything turned out well and yes, he’s still alive :) haha!  Saturday night was a little hectic, we were at the Hospital until like 11:30 and we had church the next morning.  He´s still in the hospital recovering, but he’s doing a lot better.  We´ve been taking rotations as missionaries staying with him so he’s not alone. haha :) 

Anyways, I’ve got get going.  We’re going to have a party because it’s my companions birthday. :) 
Love you guys, hope you have a great week!

- Elder Harris