Called to Serve in the Peru Piura Mission

Monday, May 30, 2016

My Heart Was Touched

Last p day, President Huertas from Morropon called us asked us if we would come up to help move the church. I guess the house that they were in is too expensive, so they have moved to a new location to hold sacrament meeting. I’ll be the first to say, I’m not a fan. It’s a tiny house in the middle of no where. We went over to help move the pulpit and the sacrament table…it’s not like they have much else :) 

Our investigator Rubelia is doing awesome. We’ve been trying to get all the members over there to visit her and she has come to church the last 2 weeks and is planning on getting baptized on June 25th... fingers crossed. :)

Wednesday we helped a less active member pull out the forest next to her house again. We were happy to help. :) She also asked if we would dig a couple holes in her house so she could put up some big wooden log poles to stabilize her house. So we dug the hole, but the wood pieces were still too big so my companion and I went ham with machetes cutting it... and then... well it kind of of went too far. :)

Our buddy, Adinson took us to this little village outside of Chulucanas called Yapatera... Oh my word, it was so strange, they were all black... like very very dark skinned - all of them. We were looking for a couple members but it turns out we didn’t end up finding them. We were a little discouraged because we had gone all that way in vain, but we saw a man walking down the street, and we felt impressed to talk to him.  We started up a conversation and he invited us to his house. We sat down and he starts telling us that his wife was a member of the church but she passed away recently. God truly led us to this man. It was such a miracle that we found a person that had some sort of contact with the church.  We started talking and teaching him and his 6 children. We invited them to church and they were so excited to go. We even passed by Sunday morning to pick them up....but the story doesn’t end as planned, they didn’t end up going... but hey, maybe next week. :) 

 A member named Jovani took us to this house, and we knocked on it, out came a very very old woman.  She invited us inside, and I’m embarrassed to say, that at the moment I was a little reluctant to enter because of her age, but I said to myself "why not". She told us that she dearly misses her husband and her kids that have passed away. We promised her that if she was willing to follow Jesus Christ, she would be able to live with them forever.  I’ll never forget the light from inside that lit up her face as she started to cry.... "I want to follow Him", she says... the spirit filled the room. 

We met an 18 year old married to a 14 year old this week... they rejected our baptismal invitation. :)

We’re helping a recent convert prepare to go to the temple next month. Her name is Margot and she’s super awesome. We’ve been talking about temples a ton lately, the only thing that she lacks is the money. We’re fasting and praying for her that she can get the money to travel to Trujillo, which is the closest temple.  Please, if you would pray for her as well. :)

Sunday was a great day. I love going to church now. Haha!  It makes me laugh when I think about when I was young that I used to pitch such a fit going to church.. sorry mom. :) I love taking the Sacrament and renewing my baptismal covenants. I’ve learned over my mission that if you just keep going to church and reading the scriptures that everything will turn out alright in life. :) 

We met with an old couple yesterday... Genardo and Dolores. They’re such a cute couple... he’s deaf, and she’s blind. So it’s like they need each other to body.  They live in a tiny little house, super poor, and they raise their 2 grandchildren that are 9 and 7.  They don’t work because of their age and problems so they are just getting by. The kids were so hungry and they had no food to give them but a little bit of rice and chicken the size of my finger. My heart about broke as I watched them eat it as fast as they could. Then out of no where, the little brother breaks half of his chicken in half, and gives it to his older brother because he was still hungry. I just about started to cry in that moment... my heart was touched. :) 

This week was great, still working hard, and doing everything we can . :)

I’ll see you soon. Love you guys!!

-Elder Harris

Monday, May 23, 2016

You are angels . . .

Habla familia que tal. :) 

This week was fun.. a little slow... but a great week, like always. :) Last p-day I bought a sick soccer jersey... never thought I would get myself to do it… because it’s soccer… but it's pretty cool.  I’ll send you a pic :) It’s a Messi jersey from Barcelona... I’m hoping Cody doesn’t have the same one.. pretty sure he got the Argentina Messi jersey, I’ll have to ask him. 

Later that day we had the opportunity to prepare a young man to enter the temple... Giancarlos Alburqueque.  He’s 20 and thinking about serving a mission.  I love talking and teaching about the temple.. it’s one of my favorite topics... and to bear my testimony of the spirit that resides there.  It truly is the house of the Lord, there is no other place like it on earth.  I still remember that first time I walked into the Celestial room with all of my family.  It was one of the only times in my life where I truly felt my breath being taken away from me.  I miss the temple a lot.. so, my advice, GO TO THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK! TAKE ADVANTAGE THAT ITS ONLY DOWN THE ROAD! Trust me, you have no idea how blessed you are. We talked to Giancarlos about being baptized for his dad, and becoming an eternal family... the spirit was so strong, how merciful is God. 

"You are angels.. you have a special power to reach out to people the way Christ would" -Cristi Hidalgo.  She’s a less active member that made this comment to us on Tuesday. We taught her and the husband about tithing... it was a strange topic, especially on the second lesson, but we felt impressed to do it. As we were talking in the lesson, Cesar commented to us that he was thinking about paying his tithing last month, but he never could get himself to do it.  We asked him why he thought that we shared this message and he responded "I don’t know".  We laughed a little too and responded the same... we don’t know either, but God commanded us to share it to you. He paid his tithing :)

We’re in a branch right now in Chulucanas and were working a lot so that we can get a ward here. It’s so close, we’re just lacking a couple people that don’t want to pay their tithing... but hey, were getting there. :)

We had a lesson with Martin and Maritza... they’re super cool but they have some marriage issues. Since my companion and I are only 19 years old, we didn’t have the best advice for them especially because we’re not married, but we testified of our parents... that you and dad have been together for more than 25 years (around there) and that the answer to a functioning relationship is CHRIST!! There is no other way... so thanks for being that example :)

On Thursday we had a district meeting and we set goals on how to become consecrated missionaries.  I made a goal to completely purify my mind…. But has I have made a goal to completely kick out every bad thought with a hymn, I’ve felt the spirit more strong in my life these past couple days... God is helping me :) 

Friday a sister called asking for help.  We went to her house and turns out that she had a forest for us to pull out. Haha! We start going wild and I think I must have been allergic to the plant pollen because my eyes and throat started to swell up and I couldn’t breath very well.  We got it all under control though… so don’t sweat it mom :) I guess the sun didn’t help it either, I was sweating like a dog. We started our fast, and then cleaned the church.

We had an impression to call this investigator family that we hadn’t visited in over 2 months. We passed by their house and Nancy, the wife started to tell us a story that her little boy just the day before told her that he wanted to go to church, but didn’t know what church to go to.  It was an answer to their prayers that we showed up right in their time of need... God truly does work in mysterious ways.  They were set on coming to church on Sunday butttttt to make a great story crap, they never showed up! Haha! Maybe next week. :) 

On the bright side, we had a great day at church and learned a ton. :) haha!  I hope you guys haven’t gotten trunky and stopped going to church.............

Keep working hard, love you guys, see you soon! :)

-Elder Harris

Monday, May 16, 2016

Translating for American Doctors

This week in Peru was great :) 

Elder Arrington and I are coming up with some great new ideas for the work here and we are excited to put them in progress.  An idea we had is to put up conversion stories of all the members in the church so when other members, and investigators walk in, they can read about how the members were converted to the gospel! :)  We've also started to make goals with the members, and to be honest, there’s a difference in the branch. :)  The attitude and love has grown... A LOT since the first day I got here.

We found a new investigator last week named Rubelia... she is amazing!  Definitely a gift from God.  She’s a nurse and accepted a baptismal date for 18 of June.  Later that night, we had an activity for the members. We bought roses for all the mothers and we had all the husbands and kids stand up and say what they loved about their mothers and give them a hug and a rose.  It was really cute, and the mothers LOVED IT! Haha!  A lot of tears.... soo sensitive. Geez.

I told you about last Sunday how we went to Morropon for church. It was a small family group of 14 people crammed into a tiny house with a cement floor and plastic chairs.  It was super hot but the spirit was the same. :)  We only met for 1 hour which was super strange...........

Last Monday we went to Morropon again to the waterfall.  Our whole district went and we had a real good time. :)  We had a family home evening with a Claudio and Micaela who are active members in the church. In our opinion, it was super effective. We invited all of their neighbors and they were super excited to participate. We had like 15 people there in the same lesson. :)

On Tuesday I’m pretty sure we shot the moon. Haha! Literally everything fell through, but as we were walking down the street, we see 2 white girls walking so we stop to talk to them and ask them where they are from. "Sweden" they respond.  My first question was, "what in the world are 2 chicks from Sweden doing in Peru?"  Anyways, they were super cool and their English was really good.  As we were talking to them, 2 American doctors from Washington DC get out and start talking to us. It was like a huge foreigner party! Haha!  I guess they needed our help to translate for them because they didn’t speak Spanish... SOOOO

On Thursday we go and help these eye doctors translate and it was super fun! :)   I also got talking to one of the nurses guess what?? Her name was Jennifer! I asked her if she believed in God and she told me no, but was jealous of the people that believed in God.  She just had never felt anything before.  I started explaining to her the restoration and the spirit was so powerful... I truly believe that God sent us there to find that woman.  It’s strange how God works sometimes, right? :) 

One day we were walking down the street when my companion and I had an impression to visit a special sister.  We dropped what we were doing and we went to visit her. She let us in and informed us that was not doing very well.  She told us she was tired of life and that she was going to take poison to end her life.  She explained to us that she was about to do it, until we knocked on her door.  We explained to her that God had sent us, and we took the poison away from her. Miracle.

In my personal study, I read Enos 1: 26 - 27 and instantly a member popped into my head so that same day we went to his house to share it with him. His name is Jairo and he’s a returned missionary of 5 years. He explained to us that he was tired of going to church and he didn’t feel the spirit in his life.  I told him about the scripture and that his name popped into my mind and that I had the impression to share it with him.  As he read it, tears started streaming from his eyes, and even from my own eyes.  It was a powerful moment and we invited him to repent and get back on the straight and narrow path. 

We invited this homeless man to eat soup with us.  Haha!  It was really fun! :)

Sunday we gave talks in church, again... :) I talked about the priesthood and that we need to be ready at every moment when we are called to use it.  My companion talked about the Book of Mormon and it was a super powerful meeting.  I told the story of when dad fell out of the boat when we were river rafting and his leg was cut open. I told about the priesthood blessing he was given and the bleeding stopped until he got to the hospital.  The members loved it! haha !:) It’s amazing how many stories I share about you guys... you truly have been amazing examples to me. :) I love you guys so much :)

My companion and I also sang in church! Haha! Yeah maybe that wasn’t the best idea… but we sang "Come Thou Fount" in English and Spanish and it was fun. :) 

Sunday night a member called us saying that his friend needed a blessing.  We went over to the lady’s house and she literally has a hole in her foot the size of a golfball!  It was crazy! Her name was Maria Sandoval and we were able to give her a Priesthood blessing. As we were leaving, the way she shook our hands spoke for her.. she kept repeating over and over again with tears in her eyes "thank you, thank you".  We just smiled :) She will be healed.

It was a great week :)

I love you guys, see you soon!

-Elder Harris