Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, July 27, 2015

Something Big is Happening!


Como estan? :) This week was great. Monday we played some volleyball and yes, I loved it. After, we had plans to go to Chilis because yes there’s a Chilis here in Piura.. it’s like the only American restaurant.. and when we showed up..... it was closed. ha, just my luck. Later in the night, a new Elder from California got to the mission and we were stuck giving presentations all night that we couldn’t get out to our area.

Tuesday oh my word, ELDER BEDNAR IS COMING TO THE MISSION!!!!! Not kidding, when I heard I about jumped right out of my trousers.. Well, he’s not actually coming to OUR mission, rather the mission below us, Chiclayo.  Anyways, it’s about 6 hours away so we´ll be getting in a bus the end of August and drive down there to hear him speak.  We´re all super excited :) 

I also had an interview with President Rasmussen on Tuesday... the first one! It was more of a "get to know" you interview but yeah I see him every day so it wasn’t anything super special :) He truly is an amazing man though, I can feel and see the spirit dwell in him. Hermana Rasmussen is as good as ever.. a little stressed adapting to the whole mission life but I’m trying to do everything I can to make her feel better :)

Wednesday.. well Elder Rollins (office elder) has had stomach problems for like 7 months and needed to go to the clinic and no one wanted to go cause they were "too busy".. anyways, I volunteered to go and we ended up having a great time :) We got to the clinic at 10 AM and didn’t return until 4PM... Peruvian doctors.. it’s ridiculous.

Later that night we had a lesson with a less active that’s progressing super quickly.. Her name is Fatima, and she’s already attended like 4 times in a row. ANYWAYS, we were teaching her and her daughters friend walked in the door and apparently wanted to say hi to me... she shook my hand, leaned down, and straight kissed me! I was shocked but more than anything ridiculously uncomfortable.. anyways Elder Nosa got a good laugh out of it so that’s all that matters, right? :)

Thursday I had a work visit with Elder Lamoreaux from Mesa, Arizona.   I actually really, really enjoyed it. He likes almost all the things that I like! haha  Friday was Elder Edwards birthday so we smashed some eggs on his head and ate some chocolate muffin type thing... it wasn’t very good.  But he was happy and that’s all that really matters, right? :) 

Sunday our investigators Oscar Cunya and the Garcia Tipismana family attended church. We talked a lot about the Atonement and that we all understand what it is... we have a knowledge of the event, but are we truly applying it every day?

The Garcia Tipismana family invited us over Sunday night for a small "birthday party" for his mom that lives with them.  It was a surprise party and it was super fun.  Little did we know, Nestor Garcia invited over a Mariachi Band and they just entered and started singing at the top of their lungs... it was quite the experience... first time I’ve seen anything like it :)

This week was great.  Still loving the misison :)

espero que tengan una buena semana! :) no caigan!

-Elder Harris 

Monday, July 20, 2015

10 miles into the Sahara Desert

This week was chill... nothing to special happened - a little frustration but hey... we’re still having a great time :)

Monday we played Cranium?? Like what who does that anymore? But we had fun. Every Monday, our P Day ends early cause we have an office council meeting with President and Hermana Rasmussen and we talk about everything we need to get done for the week. This week, Hermana Rasmussen asked if one of the secretaries could help her with this HUGE project she wants.... anyways, we knew how much work it was and we all kind of looked at each other trying to figure out who would volunteer... but then I figured, hey, what a great way to serve.  So you bet I raised my hand.  Anyways, the project is a straight beast.  I’ve been working on it for the past 6 days on TOP of all my normal work. Not even close to done either. haha. Wish me luck.

Tuesday was a little sad.. one of my buddies went home.  I got to spend his last day with him here in the office.  We chatted it up all day. I told him how much I respected him for making the decision and it seemed to really touch him. He told me to enjoy every minute of the mission because you never know when its gonna end... SO hey im enjoyin it :)

Thursday was nuts.  Piura like blew up in a smoke cloud... I guess they’re fumigating the city for mosquitos because Dengue is becoming such a big problem.  Anyways, there are people dressed in toxic outfits and have gas masks.   Not kidding, it looks like they’re invading the world. Their smoke machines look like machine guns. Haha.  I tried to take a pic but I couldn’t see anything through the smoke. I haven’t noticed a difference in the mosquito population but not kidding there’s like 40 Elders that are sick with Dengue. Oh ps - the gas smells horrible.

Friday I ripped my shirt on a power cable - nothing else to say about that.

Saturday I completed 2 months in the office. Time has passing by bien rapido.  We didn’t have time to work that day because I had to go with Elder Vasquez to the clinic.  We got there around 6 PM and didn’t leave until 11 30 PM.  I was with him for about the first hour or two and we had a good chat.  He’s from Santiago Chile and so we talked a lot about Jared’s mission.  Anywyas, the next 3 hours I just sat in the emergency room lobby. It was pretty lonely so I just started talking to everyone who came and sat by me. haha.

Sunday was great as ever :)   We walked 10 miles into the Sahara Desert to pick up an investigator to go to church and turns out, "he couldn’t" ha PLEASE. Anyways, we also talked about following the spirit when we feel his promptings. I loved what the bishop said that the longest distance between us and the spirit should be a whisper.  I think that’s such an important lesson that the youth need to learn.  That when they are in places or situations that don’t allow the spirit, GET OUT. Haha.  Maybe I’ll share that with my kenz :) 

Anyways, it was a good week :) 

-Elder Harris

Monday, July 13, 2015

How Grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation

Okay so this week was dope.

Monday we spent our p day in "el mercado"? To be honest, I have no idea what it is in English.. I know the word is super similar but I just can’t put my finger on it... it’s like the HUGE place they sell everything? Anyways, it was fun :) Next time we go, I’ll have to take a picture because it truly is like nothing I’ve ever seen. You guys would like it:)

Tuesday we had a "meet the Rasmussens" zone meeting...  Hermana Rasmussen baked cookies and I about died... home made, SOFT cookies.  
As President Rasmussen was talking, he said something I liked a lot. He said "your time as a missionary is going end real quickly.. Enjoy it."  So hearing about Ryan Devitt and Corbin coming home really hit me that its going come to an end real fast.  So just wanted to let you all know... I;m enjoying it :)

Thursday was straight nuts... so get this. We get a call about 10:45 PM saying that the sisters in our district aren’t in their room.  There’s another pair of sister missionaries that live next door to them and they were the ones that called us.  They told us that they had been banging and screaming on the door for the last 30 minutes and they weren’t there.   We got a little worried and we called President Rasmussen.  Around 11:15, Pres Rasmussen gave us permission to leave our room and start looking for them so we put all of our clothes back on and start walking down the streets looking for them.  We checked in members houses, investigators houses, and we could not find them ANYWHERE. We decide to go back to their room and see if we can find more investigators through their area book... and by this time, not kidding, the whole ward is looking for them.   We get to their room, and sure enough, there they are.  Safe and sound.  We were super happy to see they were okay, but oh man were they embarrassed.  Haha.   It was quite the adventure :)

We also had a lesson with Oscar and he’s getting super excited about his baptism. He told us that yes or yes he’s going to get baptized, but he’s having some problems with the commitments.  His dad gave us a little bit of a burning but don’t worry, he´ll change :) I have faith :) I don’t even know why he cares - I mean his son Oscar is like 30? ha.

Friday was tough.. Our ward mission leader Daniel, his baby died. I don’t know how old he was but his lungs collapsed. We went over to his house Friday night and they had the casket open of the baby. To be honest, it was hard to see, but as I looked up, I saw a picture of Jesus Christ.  He was in the heavens with his arms opened wide, almost as if he was receiving this little baby into his arms and into his kingdom.  It gave me hope. How grateful that I am that I have this knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation.  

Saturday night, the bishop called and informed me that I was to give a talk in church because Daniel (mission leader) wasn’t going to be able to attend.  I whipped something up case, ya know that’s what missionaries do.

Anyways, Sunday rolled around and it was just a terrible situation. Right as its about my turn to speak, this drunk walks in the church and starts to cause all sorts of problems in the foyer... so they ask my companion and I to help and get him out.  So as we are downstairs, like 3 members come running down saying “Elder Harris, you’re up!” haha!  I run up the stairs, grab my scriptures, and walk to the pulpit. haha :) The talk turned out great.. I shared the story when Jesus Christ turns to Peter and asks him 3 times, Peter, do you love me? Do you love me more than these fish?  More than your work? More than your family? More than the TV, or your cellphone?  If Jesus Christ was to walk in the door right now and say, I need you members to drop everything you have right now, and follow me to "Argentina"... would we do it? 

Anyways, it’s a little hard to explain but the spirit helped me out :)  As we got to the second hour, gospel principles, our mission leader is also in charge of that so because he wasn’t there.... well... that fell on our heads. Elder Nosa and I decided that we would teach it together so he opens the meeting with a prayer and then he was like, and now Elder Harris is going give the lesson and just sat down.  I was like yeah okay, flipped open to what lesson we were on (Fasting) and just went for it :) haha.. turned out fine.. the other missionaries helped me out.

It was a great week.  A little crazy but I’m still having a great time :)

les amo les extra├▒o. espero que tengan una buena semana!! :) nos vemos

- Elder Harris

PS - I totally forgot to tell you that I received the package you sent me! :) I was going wait and open it on my birthday... but then I stared at the box for like 5 minutes and I was like screw it and opened it :) haha. Thank you! For real, I was not expecting that Jazz hat... its SOO sick.  Even ask my companion, I’ve been wearing it every night when we get back to the room :) haha. I really liked the ties too.. I wore the yellow one you sent me and not kidding like 3 or 4 people were like hey Elder Harris I like that tie. I’m like oh geez thanks. And the candy, oh my word, American candy. The best thing in the world. You should see my companions face when he eats it. ha.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A New President & New Missionaries


This week was great. Last Monday was a little slow because the National Peruvian Soccer Team was playing.....soo we didn’t have any lessons.  Not kidding, everyone was watching the game.  As we were walking back to our room, apparently Peru scored and not kidding the whole city shook because everyone was screaming GOALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!
crazy peruvians.

Tuesday morning we woke up early to pick up the new missionaries from the airport. They seem really cool, their Spanish could use a little help, but hey they’re happy to be here :)  The best part about the whole thing, WE GOT PIZZA! Not kidding I’m going to eat pizza every day when I get home, mom.  I really miss it.

Wednesday President Rowley invited us over for root beer floats.  Oh my word, I about died. Elder Yujra and I spent most of the day in downtown Piura, I love walking around in my white shirt and tie.. haha the people think I’m important or something.

Around 7 PM, we went to the airport to pick up President and Hermana Rasmussen. Ahh they were so excited and happy to be here :)  I´ve had the opportunity to get to know them a little better over the past couple days and they truly are amazing.  President Rasmussen has power. I can see the light and goodness in his eyes.  To be honest, I’m really, really happy that he’s my new mission president. I already love him.  Hermana Rasmussen is THE BOMB. Not kidding, she’s hilarious. So happy, and friendly. I love her personality.  

Thursday morning we said our goodbyes to President and Hermana Rowley.  It was bittersweet.  They gave us all a big hug with tears running down their cheeks, and then they were off.  I even got a little emotional -not like crying, because I’m a man of course, but just a little teary eyed. I truly am going to miss them though. They taught me so much about who I want to be.  President Rowley was a huge example. He is a true disciple of Christ.  Humble, meek, loving, giving, strong.  He has the spirit with him, I can see the light in him.  Hermana Rowley was amazing. One of the most loving people I’ve ever met, she really was amazing.  She always wanted the best for everyone.

Friday was chill. I felt like it was a little break from everything.  I remember telling my companion how happy I was that we could sleep in until 6 30 haha!   We’ve been waking up at like 5 or 5:30 almost every day this week.   Anyways, not much happened but we got free sloppy joes and who doesn’t like free American food? 

Saturday was the 4th of July and I was really wishing I was home. It’s one of my favorite holidays AND I MISSED IT. Haha! Nah its cool.. sounds like you guys had fun though? :) We had a great zone meeting... we talked about how obedience changes missionaries and it got me thinking about how much I’ve changed in the past 10 months. I’m sure you guys wouldn’t even recognize me :)  I remember telling myself before the mission that I would not return home the same person that I was when I left... and to be honest, I don’t think that Ii am. I have a lot more to go, but the obedience is changing me.
I love the mission... I go to sleep every night exhausted, but happy. I wake up every morning tired as ever, but happy and I think that’s all that really matters.. I’m happy where I am, and so grateful for this time I have to be here in Piura. I love you guys, and hope you have a great week :)


-Elder Harris