Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Forest

This week was great and full of adventures.  Like I told you last week, we went to the border of Ecuador. It was really fun :) As we got back, we visited Juan Carlos aka seƱor desnudo. He’s a painter and we invited him to be baptized the 2nd of January and he seems really excited :) 

We visited Jorge Carva and his son Ricardo (17).  He has a huge doubt with the Book of Mormon so we explained to him that our role and purpose as missionaries isn’t to convince them that the book is true... our purpose is to invite them to ask God if it was true.  He seemed a little shocked with our answer, but accepted the challenge. :)  We also invited him to be baptized the 26th of December so we’ll see how things go :)

ALSO IT RAINED ON MONDAY NIGHT!! AHHHH IT WAS A MIRACLE!  It’s the first time I’ve seen the rain in 10 months.  Can you believe it?!  It was like a dream come true.

Tuesday we made a hammock. haha :) We took a bed sheet and tied it to 2 trees.  We visited Karmen and it was a good lesson. 

Christian and Madaline are great. They’re from Venezuela and their daughters Andrea and Alessandra might be the cutest little girls in the world. I’ll try and send pics next week :) Anyways they were recently baptized, but are slowly becoming inactive. We talked about the famous scripture Helaman 5:12 and building our foundation on the rock of our Redeemer.  We talked about their kids and how they need that sure foundation. I explained to them that my parents had built my foundation on that rock and it was a great reason of why I’m here today. They were impressed and want to meet you guys to ask you how you did it :) haha

Wednesday we had a service project working in the mango fields :) We helped a member named Segundo and his family picking mangos, tamarindos, and they even let us try their sugar cane! It was really really fun :) 

We found a new investigator named Jair Socola.. he’s 22 and a baller. He called us over and we got talking to him and he told us that he wants to be a member of the church. He wants to get baptized and change.  We told him we would be there every step of the way and we put a baptismal date for the 26th of December. :) We’re on fire . . . we have 7 people with baptismal dates!

Thursday we had the opportunity to give 2 priesthood blessings. We shared a scripture with their family about faith and then continued with the blessing. Their grandma, Azo, asked if I would do it and of course, I was more than willing. I love the power and presence of the Holy Ghost when I give blessings.. it feels like right when I put my hands on their heads, it takes over and God uses me as an instrument to transmit His message. 

There is also a family we found that are great, oh my word, they’re going to get baptized si or si. Adriana and Jose Luis :)

Friday we helped a less active member with a service project moving dirt. Haha! My specialty. :) His name is Joel Mogollon and he’s 21.  His dad passed away a couple years ago and so he has to support his family, that’s why he’s been having troubles going to church. Anyways, as we got there, I realized that there was no wheel barrow and they were loading buckets of dirt on their shoulders... and to make it worse.. to the 3rd floor! ahhh it was tough. I probably hauled 100 buckets for 4 hours. But it was fun while we worked and his mom even made us Chicharon after so we were happy :) 

We were visiting a sister named Mercedes and she asked us if we would cut down a branch that was messing with the power cable so of course I was the first to volunteer. I took my tie off, grabbed the axe and started my way up the tree :)haha

Saturday night was killer. We were in a part of our area called "El Bosque" or in english "The Forest". I realized why they call it El Bosque cause the mosquitos that are KILLER. Not kidding I could not handle it... we ran to a members house and banged on the door just to let us inside.. they gave us some poison that we rubbed all over our bodies and it stung a little bit but what else were we suppposed to do? :) hahaha my legs, arms and face are covered with bites. 

Anyways, Sunday was great, we went to church and enjoyed the spirit :) 

I hope you guys have a great day!

-Elder Harris

Monday, November 23, 2015


Last Monday I didn’t play soccer because I was still feeling pretty sick, but don’t worry I’m better now :)  I still have these weird white pus infections in my throat and tonsils that hurt like a mother but I got some medicine last Saturday and it seems to be helping. :)   Anyways, later that night we were having a visit with an investigator named Ricardo. His whole family are members but he just hasn’t pulled the string yet... we talked a lot about baptism and the importance of the covenant and we put a baptismal date for the 12th of December.  Fingers crossed :)

We also got some bad news... there’s a less active member named Felix Infante.  He’s 22 and the realest G I’ve ever seen.  Anyways, he’s having problems in his family so his mom is kicking him out on the street and apparently burned all of his clothes. He’s leaving to Lima to live on the streets for a couple weeks until he can work up enough money to live somewhere... I feel super bad for the kid. 

Tuesday our investigator Lesleye invited us over for lunch haha thank heavens . . .  NO RICE. she made noodles with chicken and it was really good :)  As we were contacting that day, we saw a miracle. Apparently there is this sister named Ursula Salvador that was listening to the missionaries about 2 years ago but the missionaries had an emergency transfer and she never found missionaries again.  Apparently she had been looking for us for 2 years and so when she saw us, she explained to us we were like angels. Wow!

Wednesday was a little slow. :)  We walked and walked and walked and walked and walked.  We were so tired and at about 8 PM we about sat down but then a thought from the Savior came into my head "Salvation was not easy for me, and it certainly won’t be easy for you".  It gave me a motivation to keep moving forward, and we did :)  We also ate some anticucho to relieve the stress my word, I LOVE THAT STUFF.

Friday we met Mari. She explained to us that her husband passed away 2 years ago, and we explained to her that God made a plan long before that. We told to her exactly where her husband was, and that she will have the opportunity to see him again.  The look on her face was indescribable...I wish you could have been there to see it.Hher eyes filled with hope.... and with love... 

Saturday we ate duck at the bishop’s house.  We’re also focusing a lot on family history and I’m actually really enjoying it.  We haven’t had a lot of time to look it up but I’ve been looking up my great grandparents and it has been an amazing experience...

Sunday I had to give a talk in church. :)   It was great, I’m so serious. I feel like it was one of the better talks if not the best talk I’ve given. I talked about diligence in the Gospel. D&C 107:99-100.  I talked about John Rott Moyle.. the man from Alpine, Utah that walked to the Salt Lake temple every morning to help build it.  I talked about Parley P Pratt and how he served a mission in Chile and then Brigham Young asked him to serve another mission in the Eastern States. And then I talked about Grandpa Ray... traveling to New Zealand.  It was great :) I just wish you could have been there to hear it :)

Anyways, hope everything is swell with you.  I miss you, mom :)  I’ll see you in 9 months from today :) i think. :)

I love you!!!!!!!

-Elder Harris

Monday, November 16, 2015


This week was great :)

Monday we went to this stadium called Tumpis and played soccer :) Fabiam Reto helped us put up our mosquito nets because they were absolutely KILLING us.

Tuesday we found a new investigator named Karmen.. she has 7 kids and is about 28 years old. ha. Welcome to peru. Something super sad also happened...a members house burned down. Apparently some kid was playing with fire and it got something else and then sooner than later 2 houses got burned down. The members called us and we helped haul food and supplies over to their location. My heart sunk as I walked in their destroyed house... they lost absolutely everything. They don’t use banks here so all their money, EVERYTHING. 

Wednesday morning we went back early and helped them clean everything up. They gave me a hammer and we started breaking everything that was still in place so they could restart completely. We filled the whole house with sand using a shovel and a wheelbarrow :) It made me think of mulch haha!  I just laughed :)  The Peruvians would walk by and they would say "wow look at how these gringos work!" haha :)  All thanks to you and pops :)

Later in the day we were walking down the street and we found a group of drunks... aka all of Peru. They yelled at us and "asked" us to share something so I "asked" them to repent. :)  We had a lesson with a member family. I absolutely love them. They have 3 daughters and they are adorable. Their dad left to Lima because he’s super sick... he’s going to live there for about 2 months.  Anyways, we shared with them to be like Nephi when his bow broke in the wilderness.. when his family was under pressure and passing through problems and afflictions, his whole family murmured.  Nephi also had the decision to murmur, or cowboy up and keep moving forward. Like we know, he built a bow out of wood, armed himself with an arrow, and went out to hunt.  What a perfect example.

Friday we were visiting an investigator named Leslye.  She’s super cool.  We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. We now have 2 people with a baptismal date :) But for real though, we are inviting EVERYONE to baptism. WE’RE CRAZY MACHINES. There was another family that is super super super cool but they turned us down because she’s catholic and he’s mormon and they want to get married for eternity but she wants to do it in her church and he wants to do it in the mormon church and it’s just a problem. So for some advice for Cody, just make it a whole lot easier on yourself and go marry a nice Mormon girl :)

Saturday I opened a coconut with my hands. I smashed in on the ground and it took some flesh out of my right hand but the victory milk inside was even better than the pain :) 

Sunday was great. Church was great. The members are great :) The members are actually really willing to help us out here... opening this new area has got them super excited and all of them want to come with us :) Anyways, yesterday I was pretty sick. About 5 pm I started to get a migraine and then I got a bad fever but a little sickness isn’t gonna stop me from saving souls. :) We kept going.  :) A couple of the members think I have dengue from the mosquitos because they are straight killing me but they said it usually passes within a week :) 

On the bright side, my companion, Elder Urpeque is super cool. I’m loving our time together.  We’re working hard here and having success. He’s the only member in his family and I always marvel at the sacrifice that is to leave your family when they don’t support you. So thank you for all the love and support :) 

Puyango is great. :) It’s hot, humid, and I have at least 40 mosquito bites every day but I’m loving it :) 

I love you guys, have a great week!!

-Elder Harris

Monday, November 9, 2015

14 Months Today

This week was great!  Today, I complete 14 months in the mission. I have nothing to say.

Last Monday we just kicked it and played soccer with Tacatex.  As we were leaving to proselyte in the afternoon, we got a call saying there was an emergency and an elder was in the hospital so the secretaries called me to help them out. My companion kicked it at the hospital with the elder and i stayed the night with my old companions :) haha Elder Paredes and Elder Wilde.  I also had the chance to say goodbye to my good friend, Harol. from Negritos, my first area! He left on his mission to Colombia the other day and I got to say goodbye to him. 

Tuesday I was still with the secretaries so for the 5th time, I picked up the new kids from the airport. :) I didn’t mind, it’s pretty fun anyways :) We also ate tacos and I can’t complain with tacos. We said goodbye to the missionaries that are ending their missions and it was a little hard for a few of them... Elder Mendoza, Llanos, and Ipanaque. They were my homies. Also a few members threw me a small goodbye party in Tacala even though I was only there for a week and a half :) We ate hamburgers because I’m white and white people like hamburgers.

Wednesday I got my new companion.. his name is Elder Urpeque and he’s Peruvian. He’s from Lima. We got to the bus station about 1 PM to head out to Puyango and there weren’t any busses until 3:30, so we ended up waiting there for 2 hours (contacting of course) until we left. It was a LONG bus ride... long, long, long, hot, and sweaty. 6 hours.  We arrived about 10:30 PM.  I had a lot of time to think on the bus haha.  It made me miss you guys because I knew that it was your birthday and I knew exactly what you guys were doing... I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you guys.. but hey, I promise I’ll be there next year :) 

Puyango is DOPE. HOT. HOT. HOT.  The worst part was when we got to our room, we didn’t have  a fan.. and were in Peru so of course there’s no air conditiong. . . . oh my word we’re dying.  It’s like an oven in our room and it’s super humid here as well.  I feel wet all the time.  It’s also a lot greener... more trees ya know? :)  It’s not just pure sand like Piura - oh and don’t even get me started about the mosquitos... I’ve been here for 4 days and I already have at least 100 mosquito bites... and THEY’RE HUGE!!!  Not kidding, the size of a quarter. Anyways, we dropped our things in our room and went right to bed because we were so tired. :)

Our room is actually pretty nice compared to some of the other rooms in the mission... it’s about as big as our living room. And not kidding, that’s big for some of the rooms here. Some of them are the size of your bathroom. We have water about 80 percent of the time.. so were happy with that :) Power is about the same... 80%.  The city of Puyango is really small.. probably about the size of Alpine. 

Thusrday was... great :)  Never in my life have I opened an area....... it’s been quite the adventure the past couple days. There is nothing progressing here. Zip zero nada. There is a member named Fabiam that’s been helping us out a little bit but he doesn’t know much more than we do so basically were starting from scratch. Anyways, the first day we got here we met a kid named Brayan Ancajima.. he’s 17 and super smart. We entered his house and taught him the restoration and invited him to be baptized. He accepted so were getting the ball rolling.  :) :)

Friday we had a lesson with a convert named Mari Estela. She reminds me of Grandma Harris. We talked about the life of Jesus Christ, but more importantly the Atonement.   The spirit was thundering... tears welled in my eyes as I testified of the love of our Savior.  I will forever be grateful for Him, and His eternal sacrifice. "y estando en agonia, oraba mas intensamente; y era sudor como grandes gotas de sangre que caian a tierrra" Luke 22:44

I also met an exchange student from Belgium. Like what in the world are you doing  in Puyango, Peru? He told us that french fries are from Belgium. Fun fact for the day.

Saturday was swag. We ate squid ceviche and squid soup. Yayyy . . . no but for real its super good. We had weekly planning but it was completely useless because no one knows anyone haha. I never thought it would be this hard opening an area. We found a less active member later in the day named Mercedes. She’s been less active for 8 years and we talked about the Sacrament. The spirit was definitely present... I felt guided. The spirit spoke through me and as we finished we asked her if she would offer the last prayer. She replied no super quickly. We asked her why not and she started to cry... she told us that she had never felt the love of our Father in Heaven so strong in her entire life.  It was amazing.  A testimony that God will never abandon His children.

This week has been super good... hard, but were making it work :)  l’m loving it out here, even though I want to kill every mosquito that lives on this earth. I love you guys!!

-Elder Harris

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Pure and Clean


This week was great!  I  got the news on Saturday that I have transfers..... drum roll badadadadadaddadadada . . . .  I’m going to Puyango.  It’s about 6 hours away from Piura and the border city with Ecuador.  I’m going there and going to open an area. I’m pretty excited about the whole deal and I leave Wednesday morning.

Other than that, this week was full of great and spiritual experiences.

On Tuesday we got rejected for like 5 hours straight and it was stinkin hot and stinkin sandy and I opened my Book of Mormon that was in my hand and started reading in Alma 26. 26.  It was super simple but it was everything I needed to hear.  "We came to the desert to save our brethren".  My testimony of the Book of Mormon is growing stronger and stronger every day.

That night, we visited the Lloclla family.  They don’t have electricity so Maria lit a candle and we sat around her table with her family and read the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong, something I won’t forget.  Maria is an absolute TROOPER.  Single mom, 5 kids, no electricity, no running water, sand floor, her house is literally about to fall over, and STILL she a disciple of Christ.  My mind is blown by her example. Wow.

Wednesday we woke up early and traveled to that little villege, Chulucanas.  We helped la hermana Nancy build a house :)  The structure of the house was there we just put on her little tin roof and secured down the edges :)  It took a couple hours, but hey it turned out alright :)  Later in the day I went on exchanges with Elder Tuckett.  He’s from Freemont and just got her 5 weeks ago.  We had a good time :)

Friday we had a ward activity here in Tacala.  We watched Charly. . . .  oh my word, I cried about the whole movie. 

Saturday was the baptisms.... Maritza and Ana Troncos.  Elder Villalba and I traveled about 20 minutes across the city to my old area in Ignaciomerino.   When we got there, I saw Maritza and her face lit up like a firework :)  I could see the light of Christ in her and I just knew she was ready.  I remember putting on my white clothes and looking at myself in the mirror.  I felt my Fathers love.. like His arms were wrapped around me, and telling me that He was proud of me.   We took some pictures and then we were ready to start the program.  We started with the hymn "The spirit of God" and as we were singing,  I remember thinking of you and Dad  sitting by my side.  I knew that you guys were far, but you felt ever so close.  I remember feeling my Savior... with a big smile on His face. :) 

They turned the time over to us and as we exited the room, I gave her a smile and asked if she was ready... she told me she was more than ready :)  I helped her down into the font, tried to calm her nerves, and Elder Paredes opened the windows.  It was silent, and I remember staring at all the people present in the room.  I saw you, mom.  I saw my family... you were crying of course :)  I paused for a moment, and then repeated the baptismal prayer: habiendo sido comisionado por Jesucristo, yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espiritu Santo. Amen.  Having been commissioned by Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.  She went down, and came up out of the water .... Pure.  Clean.   As she bore her testimony after, I started crying.   As she told the story of how I knocked on her door and she instantly recognized me as a servant of the Lord.  Mom, I feel the Savior working through me, and it’s the best feeling I’ve felt in my entire life. I would be willing to do this forever... I truly do love this work.

Thank you for everything...  I love you guys so much :)

-Elder Harris