Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Fish with Eyes

This week was super awesome.  On Monday we went to Chili’s and who doesn’t love Chili’s? Later that day we found a new investigator named Ana Cabrejo.  She’s super cool and super nice, even invited us to drink some of her soy milk so . . . booyah!

Tuesday we picked up the new missionaries from the airport . . . so many of them . . . 30!   They’re really great though. I’ve gotten the chance to get to know a few of them, and they’re super excited to be here although their Spanish could use a little work :) haha!  I asked one of the new kids in Spanish, "de donde es usted?" (where are you from?) He got super nervous and was like "uhhh... uhh..... estoy bien" (I’m good). :)  I felt bad for the kid but in time... haha... in time :) Anyways we gave some presentations and ate ahi de gallina so it was a good day.  :)

Wednesday we had some more presentations.  We took some pics, ate pizza, and enjoyed it. :) We got back to the office and were busy trying to get everything done, but a less active member called us asking for help so we dropped everything and went and helped her.  :)   And of course, we were happy to do it. :)

We had a great lesson with the Garcia Tipismana family. We were super direct with them . . . (they’re the family that just won’t get married).  Anyways, its kind of a mess but were still pushing forward.  We had a great lesson with them, my companion said it was one of the strongest lessons he’s ever had. 

Friday we worked hard but we didn’t have much success all day.  The night was closing out, but we decided to knock one more door and as we knocked it, sure enough, a sister named Maricarmen opened it and let us in.  We taught her and her son the Restoration and it was great.  As we were wrapping things up, I saw a cake on the table and asked if it was someone’s birthday (take note, first mistake).  She replied yes, that it was her daughters 20th birthday and invited us to stay for cake.  In this culture, you’re not allowed to say no to anything, so of course, we accepted.
And it all went downhill from there.....

Not kidding, right as we said yes we´ll stay, her 20 year old daughter comes out of the bathroom with just a towel on... and comes over to say hi to us.  She recognized that we were feeling quite uncomfortable so she went into her room to change.  While she was changing, we heard loud noises outside and a bang on the door. It was a huge group of her college friends and turns on some music.  They break out the wine, and as guests, asked us to open it! Haha!  I for one had not the slightest idea how to get a cork off a wine bottle but apparently my companion was an expert. He grabs the bottle and I punch him in the shoulder - like DUUDDEE we don’t drink! Haha!  Obviously by his facial expression this statement seemed foreign to him, wine goes everywhere and people are laughing.  They were singing happy birthday, making toasts, and taking pics with some girl we don’t even know.  It was terrible... we snarffed down the cake as fast as we could and we were out of there. 

Quite uncomfortable.

Saturday was great.  We started our fast because general conference is next week (ps – I’m so excited) anyways, I fasted that Elder Paredes and I can have success here this transfer.  
Later we had a lesson with the Carhuapoma Troncos family.  They’re amazing... prepared by the Lord.  In 2 weeks they’ve read 18 chapters in the Book of Mormon.  We invited them to be baptized on the 24th of October.  I wish you guys could’ve been there when we invited her, her face lit up like the 4th of July.  She was so happy.  She and her daughter Ingrid accepted.  We invited them to church and of course they were thrilled.

On Sunday when we picked them up for church they were completely ready to go at 8 30.. just like we planned :)  It was great and I don’t think they stopped smiling the whole 3 hours. :)  We talked a lot about the priesthood and usually when we are called on to us it, it’s unexpected.  Which is why I must always be worthy morally in my thoughts and actions. Perfectly obedient -  "nothing is difficult when it’s worth it".

We ate lunch with Eduardo Garcia and his family... it was great...... we ate fish with face. Not a fan.  I even ate the eye ball. 

Anyways, Elder Paredes and I are great. He’s already taught me a lot... that it all depends on the attitude.

Love you guys, hope you have a great week.

-Elder Harris

PS - yes, I saw the red moon last night :) Maybe we aren’t as far as I thought we were :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Buenos Dias Chicos!


Yes, today was transfers. After 5 months and 3 transfers, my companion Elder Nosa left to another city called Paita.  It was hard to say goodbye but I feel like I’m ready for a change :) Now it’s just Elder Paredes and I... :) And to respond to your question if I’m ever going have an American companion, I wouldn’t count on it :)

My new companion is great.. for real. He is super funny. EVERY MORNING when we wake up he goes to the bathroom and comes out, gets into this power stance, claps his hands and says "buenos dias chicos" (good morning boys) it’s freaking hilarious. He laughs a lot and he has a sense of humor like me. :)  haha!  He’s super open as well. 

Monday a sister missionary from Mexico made us some traditional Mexican food and it was BOMB. Seriously why am I not living in Mexico? PS – I’m still sick of rice.

I also made a package for one of my buddies in my first area, Negritos.  I think I told you but his name is Harol and he got his mission call to Bogota, Colombia so I made him a package of shoes, a shirt, and a few ties because I know that he doesn’t have much.... I wrote him a letter and sent a picture with it so I hope he likes it :)

Tuesday and Wednesday I basically lived with Elder Yujra and Elder Edwards. We are opening 6 areas this transfer so my companions were super busy buying new things :)  Anyways, we enjoyed ourselves :)

Thursday was great.  I think I told you last week but every night about 10:15 we walk about a mile to a less active members house to help push her car into her house.  In the beginning it wasn’t that big of a problem, but we´ve done it every night for the past 2 weeks and I remember feeling a little annoyed by it... I remember thinking, I already have a busy enough schedule as it is, I’m exhausted, and at 10:15 every night I honestly just want to take a shower and go to bed.  But then I remembered a Mormon Message called "LIFT".  (If you haven’t seen it, GO WATCH IT)  I told you about it a couple weeks ago and it really touched me. I have been praying for the past couple weeks for opportunities to serve and now here it is.  It’s amazing to me how God gives us opportunities to grow and become like Him.  But he gives us our agency to choose to do or not, and do it with a smile or not.  I´ve really been putting for an effort the past couple days to be happy about doing it and it truly has made all the difference. :)

Saturday we got the official transfers... I have mixed feelings about staying here another 6 weeks in the office but if God wants me to stay, so be it.  :) There must be more I need to learn.  Later in the night we had a lesson with the family I told you about last week, Carhuapoma Troncos.  They read 9 chapters of the Book of Mormon in a couple days, WOWW.  We had an awesome lesson with them and they accepted our baptismal invitation.  We are super happy for them :) I’ll keep you updated.

Sunday was awesome.. Elder Nosa just said goodbye to all the members and they all made us food and it was a great big party :) Seriously these people are great :)

It wasn’t a crazy week but for sure a good one :)

I hope you guys are great back at home, have a great week. 

Love youuuu :) :) :) :) :) :)

-Elder Harris

Monday, September 14, 2015

1 Year Down, 1 Year to Go


This week was great.  Haha! Not kidding it was like a party all week long. :)

First off, I got a new companion! :)  His name is Elder Paredes and he’s from Asunción, Paraguay. So for right now we are in a trio.  Elder Nosa is gonna be with us for another couple days and then he’s leaving.  I can’t believe that were splitting paths after 3 transfers... 4 1/2 months.  To be honest, it’s going be weird to have a different companion.  But we love having Elder Paredes with us... he seriously is so funny.  :)

Tuesday, President and Hermana Rasmussen´s son and daughter-in-law flew down to Piura to see us... they were SUPERR cool and we had a good time chatting. :)

Wednesday was the big day.  1 year.  I can’t believe it.  1 year ago I left my family, my friends, college, work, my COUNTRY, and took a leap of faith.  I have served in Talara, Sullana, and Piura.  The past year has been the hardest, most exhausting, most devastating time of my life.  But I would start over again tomorrow if I could.  :) I have never been so happy :)  I have learned so much about the world, but more than anything, about myself and who I really want to be.  My testimony is being built upon the rock of Christ... He lives and I know it’s true.

For our 1 year party, Elder Edwards (also completed 1 year) and I bought a tres leches cake and shared it with everyone in the office. After, we got up on the roof of the office and did our burning ritual :)  I took the shirt that was already ripped and wrote 1 year on it and burned it :) 1 year down, 1 year to go.  WOW. 

Later in the night we had a lesson with Hermana Teresa.  She is Not doing well at all.  They have absolutely 0 money.  They didn’t eat lunch because there was no food in the house.  We tried to explain to her that she could talk to the bishop about the "fast" money. Anyways, we had a great lesson with her and as we were leaving, she gave us a piece of bread.  Although it was such a small offering, it was all she had, and it meant the world to us.  I feel like this is what happens with us and the Savior all the time... times in our lives, we may believe that we have almost nothing to offer... but the amount isn´t whats important.  It amazes me every day.  These are the types of people that I’m surrounded with every day.  They would give everything if they could. Truly, truly an amazing people. I love them so much.

Thursday we had interviews with President Rasmussen.  It wasn’t anything super special because I see him every day but we had a good time chatting it up :)

We had a lesson with Hermana Raquel as well... like I’ve explained, she and her family are passing through some problems and something she said I would like to share with you guys.. "Nothing brings me more comfort than the Book of Mormon" it was such a simple phrase but it is absolutely true.  Why is the Book of Mormon not our first fount of comfort?

Friday was Elder Nosa´s birthday :)  We played soccer in the morning and when we got done, of course we smashed like 6 or 7 eggs on his head. :) Later in the day we bought pizza and as we were taking a "group pic".  I actually put the camera on record ANDDD as we finished singing happy birthday we grabbed him, wrapped him to his chair with whatever we could find.. duct tape, saran wrap, ties, and smashed another like 15 eggs on his head. :) It was super fun! :)

Sunday was chill. It was stake conference :)  Nothing much happened but I made pancakes for my comps... I always try and do something for them every day. :)

Things here are great. :) Everyone is still freaking out about "EL NIÑO".  I guess it’s coming in November or December.  Everyone is getting prepared for it by stashing food, and everything else they can find.  The kids now even have school on Saturdays to end school faster.  Also, were going to have a meeting / presentation as a mission to have an escape plan ready and things like that.  I guess there’s a 95% chance that it’s going to hit.  Always ready,  LESSGOOOOO!

haha love you guys, miss you!!

-Elder Harris

Monday, September 7, 2015

Act in Faith

Familiaaa que tal que ondas

esta semana fue genialisimoo :) Last week we went to Catacaos again :) Ahh we love going there and seeing all the fun things.  It’s super close to Piura too.. only like 15 minutes away.   Last week I told you about an appointment we had with a family, I don’t know if you remember? Anyways, it turned out super well!  

Tuesday Elder Edwards and I went to downtown Piura to pick some things up.  It was quite funny because Elder Edwards has blonde hair, blue eyes and I guess I’ll say we stood out like sore thumbs.  :)  People look at us like what in the world are you doing here?  Anyways, because we’re Americans they think we have money so not kidding, EVERYONE and their dog tries to sell us things.  Finally we got so sick of it we just pretended like we didn’t speak Spanish saying things like "uhh no entender".  Ask Cody about that one. Haha! It was funny :)

Later in the day, Sister Pacheco from Mexico stopped by the office to ask for a blessing of comfort.  She asked if I would give it to her and of course I was happy to :)  As I was standing behind her, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to say, but then I remembered Elder Bednar’s talk, "act in faith".  As soon as I remembered that, I put my hands on her head, and began the blessing.  I instantly felt the spirit take over, and speak through me.  It was a testimony to me that when we act, in faith, the Lord will never leave us.  We must learn to put our trust in Him.

Wednesday we had a HUGE family home evening lesson with the Garcia Tipismana family.  I don’t know if you remember them either but they are the family that just won’t pull the trigger to get married.  Anyways, we brought 2 members that have been married for over 18 years to talk to them and I really think that they helped out a lot.  In that moment, I was just thinking how much you and Dad could’ve helped us out... if only you were here in Piura... wellllll... and spoke Spanish! :)

Thursday my buddy Elder Hamblin left for home.  It was hard to say goodbye to him and he even teared up a bit so of course it made me tear up a bit.  He was my first District Leader when I got to the mission and he really helped me out a lot when I first arrived to Piura.  Anyways, we got tacos later so it turned out to be a good day.

Friday was Elder Soto’s birthday.... my word, where do I even start. President and Hermana Rasmussen invited us to go to this really nice restaurant for his birthday.  Not kidding, probably the nicest restaurant here.  We got calzones in Piura, Perú so that should give you a little idea of how nice this place was. :) Anyways it was really fun and we had a good time. :)

When we got back to the office, we followed the tradition of Perú and smashed about 20 eggs on Elder Soto’s head and of course, with Elder Soto’s revengeful attitude, he couldn’t let us get out clean so he attacked all of us until we were as dirty as he was.  It wasn’t even my birthday and I felt like I got hit by 20 eggs.  We have a super cool video, but it’s too long to send.... sooo I’ll show you in a year. :) Afterwards we ate cake and had a good time :)

Saturday we had a zone meeting in the morning.  Talked about "los escogidos" (the chosen).  My purpose to search, and find the ones prepared by the Lord.  There are people here in Piura that are waiting for Me. Will I deny them the opportunity to receive this great joy, because I didn’t work hard enough?  Elder Bednar taught that their stain would be over our heads, if we didn’t do our part.  wow.

Later we started our fast.  In my fast, I didn’t ask for anything.  I simply thanked God for everything that He has given me.  I realize more and more every day how blessed I truly am.  With a great family that supports me, great friends, a great opportunity to be here in Perú to learn and grow, and of course the best mom in the world. :) Sometimes I wonder how did I get so lucky? :) 

Last week we found a new family thanks to knocking doors.  We´ve had 3 lessons with them now and they are progressing really well. :)  I’ll keep you updated :)

Sunday was great.  I always love fast Sunday :)  Hearing every ones testimonies is truly a treat.  We ate lunch with the Erazco family and they gave us at least 3 pounds of rice.  Oh my word, I was sick when I was half way done, but of course, I had to finish it.  I’m grateful for their sacrifice though.
Anyways, a great week :)  I hope you guys are having fun at the horse races and I’ll see you soon.  I can’t believe it’s already been a year.  Wow.

I love you and miss you.

-Elder Harris