Elder JJ Harris
I finally completed a marathon 26.2 miles in St. George this last weekend with your aunt Jill. It was very difficult at times especially the last 3 miles. My calves cramped up so bad that they locked and I had to crawl to a sidewalk nearby and hope they would relax. A gentleman in his 60s walked over to me and said “do you need help to the ambulance? It’s just up the street” I looked up at him and said “this close to the finish line, no way. Could you help me up” So I got up with help and had to walk the last 3 miles. Finished in 4:15 and many times in the last 6 miles or so I said to myself “I will never run a marathon again” – and at the most difficult times “Never run again”. But not an hour after finishing, I was already thinking about next year and how to improve my time!
At your year mark I know you’ll reflect on your first 12 months and look forward to the next 12 months. Remember after every baseball game we would review the game and make corrections for the next game. It was my way of making sure Jaren was the best he could be, and you were GREAT! Remember to leave it all on the field or mission field. The last 12 months of your mission, now that you have control of the language, is all going to be ESPN highlights. You’re a great son, a great missionary, and a great person – so work extra hard and make the next 12 months the best in your life. Don’t walk to the ambulance when the finish line is so close – RUN THROUGH IT!
I love you! Dad
Holy Smokes DAD RAN A MARATHON!!!!
I think that you, Dad, have just given me one of the coolest stories ever. I think that I am going to use that story in many different ways so that I can help people accept the gospel. Thanks for sending all of those totally great pictures of the family. While I was looking at all of them I almost broke down, not to crying but definite sadness. That picture with Aubrei making that face while you guys are giving her a kiss is the best picture I have ever seen in my entire life. I love it and I want a copy bad. I think the family is so dang cute too. Holy smokes it was really nice to see all of the family there together in that big picture. I will be sure to make lots of invitations when I finally get married so that I can have a wedding that is half decent. I just want to tell Aubrei that she made a gloriously gorgeous bride. I am going to have to find an extremely good looking wife just so I can compete. I hope that everything goes well with them.
First off, I got changed…transferred. I am now in a different part of Lima with a new companion. His name is Elder Vasquez and he is from Argentina. He’s really great. I like him a lot. He looks like pure bread Lamanite. He is super funny and He works hard so we are having a lot of fun. My new area is called JICAMARCA, my new barrio or ward is called Wiesse. We have the largest area in the entire mission… it is massive! We don’t know what to do with it all. We have to really think about where we are going to go, and when, and use our time very efficiently. I will send you pictures.
Well I was thinking about what you have asked of me, to write a letter of Gratitude, and I like the idea a lot.
Dear Two Rivers Ward
I have found here in the mission that many of my trials can be solved by some of the principles that my home ward has taught me. I just want to give thanks to a few people that I hold very dear to my heart.
Thank you Brother and Sister Belnap. Thanks for teaching me all those years in Sunday school. I owe to you the majority of my scripture knowledge.
Thank you Brother and Sister Rowe for being great examples of love and determination. When you became my pioneer parents on the Stake Pioneer trek without knowing me, you gave me unconditional love and acceptance. I learned from that example and it allows me now to easily show love to others.
Thank you Bishop Jacobson and Sister Jacobson for your outstanding example of living the gospel with a cheerful heart. Your examples help me on the days where I feel down.
Thank you President Lies and Sister Lies. Your have show me the joy of service and the blessings that it brings to others and to ourselves, you have helped me on those days of shoveling sand and lifting rocks to always be ready to do more.
Thank you Brother and Sister Tingey for giving me that small spark of hope when I get the occasional letter from you. Sorry that I am not so good at finding time to write back.
Thank you Brother and Sister Vaughn for your friendship which showed me how to be a great friend, and showing me how through your example to care for others. I have had to use those skills many times.
Thank you Brother and Sister Carroll for giving me that little bit of push to always do things the Lords way.
Thank you Brother and Sister Matthews… I first learned from you that not everything comes easy, that we have to work hard to receive blessings.
Thank you Brother and Sister Bailey (not the old ones the young ones) I just always knew that you both were shining examples of obedience and it has helped me to follow the rules.
Thank you Brother and Sister Kundis for raising your boys right and giving me a great friend to grow up with.
Thank you Sister Buck… for your testimony of power, the conviction of your heart, sharing your testimony with me helps me to share my own testimony with more authority from God.
I know that there are a lot of other families that I have forgotten… please forgive me for not remembering. I have had two great influences in my life, my totally awesome parents and my ward family. I will never forget all of your love, dedication and patience. I love you all so much and miss you.