Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Light or Red Sea

I want to share a super fun spiritual experience this week because I think that you will enjoy it. We were running late. At about 3:30 we were still in a lesson with an investigator that we starting teaching at 2. We were trying really hard to get out of there but it is sort of difficult to rush the spirit. Well we left and had to quickly run off to our investigator that we had planned for 3:00. We arrived and taught a lesson that lasted until 4:30, and had to run off to another investigator that we were suppose to meet at 4:00, as you can tell this was a large source of frustration. Anyway we had a super important baptismal interview at 5:30. We left the 4:30 appointment at 5:25 ran to dinner, ate at 300 mph, and then zoomed off to find the keys to the church. (All baptismal interviews are held in the church) well by the time that we got to the keys it was 5:50. The President of the stake had the keys and his house is like 4 blocks from the church. We just decided that we had to run or our investigator… a military man… A.K.A. super on time.  We began to run, shortly after we reached the first block, we realized that we had to get though the impossibly busy main street that always has billions of motor cycles and is super duper dangerous.  As we were running we could gradually see the monster coming closer and closer. That’s when something crazy happened. Just as we were running, without having to slow down at all, (because at this time we were running at full on sprint) the light changed. Literally it was a miracle. I have been on that street many times and many times I have tried to cross at that intersection, and many times... I have waited forever for the light to change. We crossed that street and ran the rest of the way to the church arriving at 6:08. The Zone leaders and the investigator were there waiting… and best part, Kendi, the investigator, had a class that night that he had to go to at 6:30. It takes almost all of 10 minutes to travel to his class from the church. If we were any later he would have had to leave. Needless to say we gave the interview, he passed, and we baptized him the next day. BAM!
            Mom, I am super happy that you asked me that question (questions about church)  because I have been meaning to tell you about it. I have given 5 talks now in a foreign language. I thought giving talks in English was hard; imagine what it is like to give a talk in a foreign tongue. Something cool happened with the last talk that I gave. The first four talks that I gave, I had completely written down everything that I wanted to say and I would have my companions look over them to correct the errors. Lots of laughs from Elder Paiz… but this last time I just winged it. I read a conference talk that was in Spanish before hand and then just went up to the pulpit and talked about what I felt and thought. It was awesome, I did really well and my Spanish was really good. I had a lot of people come tell me that my Spanish was improving. That was nice.
Elder Paiz and I have two wards so we have 6 hours of church every Sunday and we bless the sacrament in each meeting and sometimes teach classes. It´s fun.

The three pictures are of two baptisms... Kendi the really tall guy, and Julisa the really short and the other is a picture of the pole houses in my area. Elder Paiz took the picture with his camera because that area is really dangerous to take out my camera. I will do a better explanation of the baptisms in next week’s letter. 
Con Amor, Elder Harris

Monday, March 21, 2011

It was a power out baptism miracle!

Well Hello from the mighty jungles of Peru!

It seems like the weeks really are flying by at an impossibly fast rate.
It is exciting that Aubrei is having a good time with John judging by Dad´s letter. Funny story.. So I was talking to one of my investigators, now convert, about my face book. He went and found it.  He looked at my friends/ family. While He was looking at my family, He found Aubrei and her profile. He then proceeded to tell me that Aubrei has a picture of John and her for her profile picture. He was so upset because one, He thinks that Aubrei is very attractive and two, he thinks that John is really ugly. Its silly how this convert thinks that John is unattractive, I want to see the picture because I am sure that it must be lies… hahahahahahaha

Well we had a baptism this week. We baptized Jhayner. He is a young and very little 18 year old rascal. I think that he is great. I was thinking just the other day about the first visit that we had with him. He lives in one of the pole houses at the bottom of Belen. He received all of the discussions in the house of Johnny (a member) because his family doesn’t want him to be a member. He actually was 17 when he received the lessons, and had to have a permission slip signed in order to be baptized. His mother told him flat out no and basically that she would not support him if he decided to be Mormon. She is a super evangelical and thinks that the Mormons worship Satan.. WELL I BEG TO DIFFER. So anyway we just waited until he was 18 and he told us that he wanted to be baptized. He came to church enough times and now he is a full on member. Yeah! This is one of the more spiritual baptisms that I have had because the best part is that an hour before the baptism the power went out. The baptism was at 7 o clock p.m. and well it was really dark in the church. We were really worried because if it is too dark to see we couldn’t baptize him. There has to be witnesses at a Baptism. Well everyone arrived including Jhayner and the power came back on. We quickly changed our clothing, performed the baptism, and changed back. Seconds before we sat down the power went out again. It was a power out baptism miracle. We laughed because all the pictures that we took with my camera we took in the dark but they look like they are in perfect light because of the flash. I really have a strong testimony of the power that can be felt at a baptism. When we descended into the water I just knew in my heart that this was the right thing to do. That he was making a powerful covenant with the Lord. I know that a baptism (by immersion) in the true form that Jesus Christ taught is our way to enter into the kingdom of God. All must receive this ordinance if you want to be saved. It is amazing Mom how many people just choose not to listen, truly this is a great source of sadness for me. I think that is why a baptism is so happy. There must be opposition in all things.
Explanation of the pictures:
Top of Page: The other picture is Elder Paiz  and I on the top of a member’s house where we were eating lunch. All that land in the background behind us is my area, and the Amazon River, cool. 
The three people are Jhayner, Elder Paiz and me at Jhayner’s baptism.

A p-day activity. Right in the middle of the jungle is a giant soccer stadium.. Latinos and their soccer. (Right now I am shaking my head). All of the Mission Zones came to play soccer together. It was really hot and I wasn´t feeling too good that day. I am in the center of the picture so all is good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just working hard to bring more people to the Lord

Family Hola and hello!
We were given permission to send three photos, I don’t know why but COOL BEANS!  It has been illegal to send photos in this mission for two years. President just decided to change the rules today. yaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So this week has been really normal, just working with some new investigators and all that jazz. I have been a little sick this week too. Seems like this is the time of year to get sick in all the parts of the world (All the Harris family has been under the weather!).
I have put together a small package that I will be sending off today it has a few letters in it and a few other things that I picked up for you guys. Also it contains a cd with more pictures and movies which should be fun for you to see.
Well I was thinking that it would be nice to give you an update on things. First is first, I can, for the most part, speak Spanish. I understand and have the ability to speak back. I was thinking the other day that I should be at this point anyway because I have 5 months in my mission.
Amazing how five months have passed by already.  It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in the house with my iPod in my hand, just working construction and waiting to be here. Silly fast!!...Time really is when you are not paying too much attention.  
Answer to Mom’s question: I did receive the valentine’s package three days ago. (Mom: Yeah! only a month late J)
Time here in Iquitos is really slow. Almost like Iquitos is 15 years in the past, pretty nuts.
Well a little about the weather, HOT with a slight chance of GETTING HOTTER.  All the clothing is holding up just fine, I have a seamstress that loves me and she has repaired a few of my pants but otherwise all is well.  
The ward here is great, really humble and really fun. They love missionaries here, we really are like walking celebrities, and everyone here has listened to the missionaries or knows about them. We are treated with a lot of respect.
We just got a change of Zone leaders and they are Fantastic. They are really cool guys and they work really hard and neither of them is at the end of their missions so neither of them is trunky.
Well as you can see from my picture, yes, I met with the president recently.
I hope you know that I love every single one of you with all of my being, and I hope that all of you are feeling better.
I have been studying in the Book of Mormon.  My plan is to study every single page with a new religious zeal. I will keep you updated at where I am. Right now I am in chapter 10 of first Nephi. Loving it cause I really like Chapter is the beginning of the vision that Nephi has with the angel. Good stuff. Read; think, pray.
Sincerely from Peru this week, just plain old normal me, just working hard to bring more people to the Lord, Elder Harris

A message from a friend in Peru..
Hello brother, I am your sons friend.  I’ m learning English with himmmmmm. You have a good son, brother.  We love himmm.  Bye, Elder Pedroza (from Colombia)
Elder Harris and his Mission President
Jaren finally feels tall
Monkey's x 4

Monday, March 7, 2011

Completed 20% of my Mission

Hey family,

Wow, seems so crazy that you are doing crazy normal stuff over there in the United States.  Sometimes I forget that there is another world out there still running, still moving.
Well I have been a little sick, but it is nothing to worry about. Well, to be honest, I got a small stomach infection. I had to take some pills for four days this week.  Needless to say lots of interesting poo.
A cool thing that happened this week, Saturday and Sunday was Carnival here in Peru. Carnival is a lot different than in other places in the world.  In Peru all of the people throw water balloons all day long at whoever you see. Saturday is the day of water, where all of the water balloons have water in them. Sunday is the true day of Carnival and they fill the water balloons with anything that is liquid. For Example… paint, dye, vegetable oil, this nasty paste that smells really bad, motor oil, pig’s blood, and the worst urine. Yes, it was pretty fun, we didn’t get hit by anything because my companion and I are two big men in white shirts and everyone knows that we’re religiously affiliated.  I did however see some pretty interesting stuff, like people completely covered in paint, and dye and one guy I was pretty sure was cover in blood, gross. It was also really hard to teach the gospel these last two days because everyone and their mother were drinking. Which is sad, because let me tell you the gospel is about four hundred times harder to teach to a man completely intoxicated.
On a higher note, this week was the week of transfers. The Lord would like me to stay here in Iquitos for more time! I will be here till another change. More exciting still is that I will be with the same companion… Elder Paiz. We are both really excited to work another change together (about a month n’ half). We have been thinking of new ways that we can work in this area. We’re hoping to bring more people to the water.
I was studying this morning and came across an interesting scripture. I have always had the question in my mind, are there more Gods out there then just our God.  Well I was reading in 1 Corinthians 8:5 and found my answers…tell me what you think.
Thoughts about the past month n’half.
I calculated today and realized that with today I have completed 20 percent of my mission... today being the 146th day. I have had the privilege to have 3 Latino companions, serve in the city and in the jungle, give 28 blessings to the sick, and baptize 4 people. I just want to say thank you Mom and Dad.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve a mission.  Thank you for raising me right and thank you for being active members of the church. You are the reason I am here and through the transitive property of geometry, you both and the Lord, share in this success. I Love you and miss you and I pray for THE FAMILY every single day.
Elder Harris

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Pictures from Elder Harris

Jaren's 1st Pensionista
Kevin baptized, confirmed, and received the Aaronic priesthood in Iquitos, Peru!

Baptism Canto Chico Ward

1st Baptism also Canto Chico Ward

Bed Netting For the Jungle
Pet Monkey