Monday, November 28, 2011


Well I’m still working..
I have been having a lot of fun lately because my new companion and I are getting along so well. I like the fact that he is so humble. He teaches in a way that I really admire because of the simplicity of his words and the authority if his humble testimony. I am very happy.  I thank the lord that he has given me this opportunity. I am also happy that all is so well at home. I feel like I am missing out on a few things but that, all in all, I know that it is good for you guys to have more time with the girls. I don’t want things to change when I come back… I was just now thinking that it is going to be very important that I live near you when I have my family. I don’t think that it would be right for me to hide your grand children in some faraway place.
Speaking of life... Here in the mission.
Well the responsibilities that I have now are a lot more than I thought. I need to care for the people of the area that I am working in, care for the missionaries that are in my district. I only have one other pair of missionaries in my district right now. I am having a fantastic time in my area and with my companion…. But my other two missionaries are struggling. The problem is this: of the two missionaries that are in my district, one of them is from Washington and the other is from Nicaragua. Well the missionary that is not from the United States has a lot of really big issues. He is really prideful.  He has about 2 months in the mission.  When he started this mission he was sent directly to the jungle. He then was transferred to Lima after 2 months because the people in his ward were complaining so badly about how he treated them that they went to their stake president. He then spoke with our mission president and the mission president sent him here so that he could be retrained. As of this last week he has become impossible for Elder Divis (Washington Elder) to teach. I think that the Lord has given me a new challenge. I don’t have any problems with my companion or my area. I am super happy and excited to work with my companion. NOW I have got to find a solution to my new problem. I have been praying a lot for them… mainly for Elder Divis that he can have a little more patience and not kill Elder ñurinda( Nicaragua). I know that you probably don’t want to hear about this stuff, but about the more exciting things that happen.  This is just what is happening right now, what is on my mind and I need to it figure out.

I am so excited and a little bit nervous for Christmas. We are going to have a super tough Christmas here this year. First off, Christmas and New Years are both Sundays. I was thinking about it. I am pretty sure that we are not going to have very many people come to church those two weeks. We are going to have to focus really hard on how we can help the people get there. I am really looking forward to having the chance to pass another Christmas… because that means I really only have two really big holidays left….. Easter and my birthday, Wow time is really quick.
I will send a picture of my pensionista this next week. I don’t have a picture of her right now. The pictures that I am sending are of a really messy service project that we had.  The second picture is one of the typical dishes that we eat here.  The third picture is of the elders in my new district.
Just so that we can get a conclusion on my future occupation; the doctor, lawyer, and FB I agent dilemma, I think that of the three right now that I could most see myself is a Lawyer?!?!?!? I don’t know whats wrong with me.  All of my life I have wanted to be a dentist.  A short while ago I changed to be a anesthesiologist… then I wanted to be James Bond and now I want to be a lawyer. I think that I am suffering from a quick spell of trunkie-i-dus and it doesn’t want to let me go. I would like to study and go to BYU Provo. I am going to take the Spanish test that is available here so that I can pass the classes, and get like 25 credits for free. I am going to study really hard on the grammar and on the punctuation and all that good stuff so I can pass the test.  
What else….
I was thinking well do you know what the blog really needs really bad, a super awesome video of me bearing my testimony in English and in Spanish. I am going to film it this week. I will send it through Noe. I think that it would be really cool.
I want to see pictures of Josh Harris. (my future brother-in-law ) Haleigh you know I love you and that I am just pulling your chain, but seriously I would like to see at least one picture.
I have been reading a lot of the scriptures… a lot more than in any other time in my life. I have some to a very humbling conclusion. I have been wasting so much time all of my life doing a whole lot of other stuff that I really didn’t need to do. Ok I will be honest. I love watching movies, playing video games, listening to music and I don’t think that I will ever stop loving that stuff. But I have found another love, it is reading the scriptures. Ok, I know you must be thinking ….. PRAISE THE LORD!!!! THE MISSION REALLY CAN CHANGE MY KID!!!!.... But to be honest it’s really true. I have found so much joy in finding the mysteries that are hidden away in the scriptures. I Know that they are the word of God and as we study them he will unfold the secrets of the heavens. I know that it is by our knowledge of the scriptures that we will be judged in the last days. I know that the same principle applies two ways. If we don’t read the books that we have been given we will be judged for what we haven’t read. So I encourage you to read the word of God to his prophets. I am super excited to come back and share with you what I have learned, all those small gems of knowledge that comes through digging with a lot of diligence, mining for jewels from God. I cannot help but be excited for that day when we have family home evenings and I get to talk about all of the things that happened to me while I was here on the mission, but through my voice in person and not just through words on a computer screen.
About the Christmas call… I will call you in the night this time so that you will get the call. I am not going to call on a Saturday or a Friday but I think that it will be a Thursday. One or two weeks before Christmas, I will make the call… don’t worry about it. I do need the new number to the house so that I can call you though. I forgot the number. I miss 406-454-2790, but I guess not all of the things in this world can last.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Companion and Responsibilities

WOW, what a fantastic week!
Well I have a super great new companion. His name is Elder Lucas.  I pretty much think that he is the man. He is from Ecuador.  He is super great. I am really happy that he is with me. He is super short, super humble, and I think that we are going to have a lot of success. Why is he so humble? He was born on a farm in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Ecuador. How fetching awesome right?  He never finished high school so he can’t read super great, but he is super intelligent. He is really quick, and witty, so we have been joking a lot, which makes the work great. He loves to dance. He was basically a professional dancer which is cool.  He doesn’t know how to use a computer very well.  I have to teach him how to send pictures easier.  He is making me laugh because he uses one finger to type.  He gets out one or two words every 2 minutes or so. I am going to help him use word.  
Well I do have a little bit of news. I have been made the district leader. I have been bumped up and now have a district that I need to watch after. I am pretty excited because this will give me a chance to pump up some of the other missionaries that are in my area. I really like animating the missionaries to work harder. It makes me really happy to help a missionary understand his purpose a little bit more so that he goes out and works harder. I think I learned how to be a great motivator from you, Mom and Dad.  You always knew how to motivate me. I am excited to have this opportunity to work with other missionaries. I hope and pray that the Lord can guide me in how I can help them.
Yes, I received the package you sent. Yes, I totally love those new shoes and they fit just perfect.  I am really happy with all those candies, and so is my COMPANION!
Well, we had a really interesting experience this week. We had 15 investigators come to church. That was a handful. That’s my record too!!!!!!!!!! I was super happy because we have three people right now that we are helping to be baptized. We had an entire family of 5 people come to church today, so I am excited to see if we can help them want to be baptized. They have to get married first.
 Super cool story…..
When we arrived at church there was a lady there that showed up with her brother that is about 25 years old. We started to talk to him.  Come to find out that he is not a member of the church but wants to start investigating the gospel because every single person in his family is a member of the church. We set up an appointment with him so that we could visit him. We went and we talked to him about the church, what he liked and what he didn’t like, and then we explained all of the first lesson… He loved it… we talked about baptism…. He loved it… now he has chosen to be baptized on the 3rd of December. Perfect! I feel like God just gifted us this guy. His name is Marcos, and he lives in an area in our district that is super far away. We have to take a bus for about 20 minutes and then we have to walk for 10 more minutes to get to his house. I will send you pictures of where he lives when we visit him this week.
Well that really stinks that Haleigh didn’t get the chance to have the dance (MORP) but better still that they got to watch scary movies. Reminds of someone else that used to watch a lot of scary movies with someone named Brooke. HMMMMMM who’s that guy?
Well I am still undecided on the whole future job thing. I don’t know what to think yet.
I love you all and I hope that you have a great week.

P.S. It’s almost Christmas, dang!!!

He Will Deliver Us From Our Bondage

One difficult week
I have a confession to make… I have been having a lot of problems with my companion. Elder Vasquez and I have very different personalities and styles. I like to do things the way I have learned and have been taught, and well sometimes not everything works out like he wants it to. I have been having a lot of problems with him for quite some time now. We haven’t been really talking about it all that much because we both cannot come to an agreement on a lot of stuff. Well, this last Thursday, I just couldn’t take it anymore and I exploded.  I expressed all of the little things that have been bugging me.  He explained to me all of the little things that I do that bug him. We talked for more than 2 hours. We talked for so long about all these little things that we had to get ready to leave or we would have been late to lunch.  We are doing a lot better now… we are coming to understand a little bit better the perspective of the other person so that we can come to agreements. Many times in the last few days I have thought about what this experience has taught me and how I really am grateful for a companion that has been a little bit hard for me to handle. I can imagine that what I have learned now will be a great help to me when I am married and I how to come to agreements with my future wife. I don’t think that I have fully mastered the technique… but in all things, if we put our trust in the Lord, he will deliver us from our bondage. Well I am not saying that a future wife is going to be a burden…more that feelings of remorse and frustration are a heavy burden to bear all day long. Yes, I think, I am learning here on the mission.
I had an interesting experience happen to me the other day. I was working in the area of my district leader for a day. Sometimes we do exchanges like this so that he can see how we are working. My companion was with our district leader in our area and I was in his area with his companion. They have a family that they have been preparing for baptism. The Family has the Mom, Dad and a older daughter. Their daughter is a Mom too, having a little girl that is 9 years old. So if anyone is counting that is four baptisms. Elder Quispe, the companion of my district leader, was verifying who was going to baptizing who. I was just sitting there letting him do his thing. He asked the Father first and the Father said, “Elder Peña” (my district leader).  Then he asked the Mom and she said, “Elder Quispe.”  He asked the other mom and she also said, “Elder Peña.”  Then he turned to the 9 year old girl and asked her. She sat there thinking for a minute or two and then pointing at me she says ¨HIM¨. I couldn’t help but laugh… I exclaimed, but you don’t even know who I am, this is the first time that you have ever seen me. BUT…SHE HAD CHOSEN. She would not let anyone else convince her, it was me or nobody else. So this Saturday I baptized the little girl. I am sending pictures. I would give you more of the story but to be totally honest I have no idea how to explain. I felt like I had seen her before and she had seen me. I guess that’s just how things work out sometimes.
We also had another sudden baptism this week. One of the ladies in our ward has a son that turned 8.  She asked us if we would baptize him and of course we did!
Well I was doing some thinking about the future again. Let me just tell you that there is lots of time to think here on the mission. There is no TV, music and all of that other stuff to keep you constantly distracted. The only things we think about are the people we teach, the gospel and the future. Well, anyway, the future… I was thinking about what I want to be… I am seriously stuck between three things…Doctor, Lawyer, and FBI agent. That’s serious… I don’t know what to think yet. Give me some feedback.
Love ya, Elder Harris

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Rock…

Well I am happy that all of the family is well and that all of the people in the ward are ok. As an answer to your question about my glasses, they broke a while back.  I had to go get some new ones. I really like them a lot.  I have been using them a lot too.
So about the family that we baptized, Victoria and Isidro:
Well, Victoria and Isidro are two of my best friends in the whole world! We found them one day when we heard about the family that they live with that are LDS, but they weren’t. The first time that we met with them I can remember thinking that it was like teaching very small children. It was really hard because they don’t know how to read or how to write.  It made it a challenge for them to accept the book of Mormon. We had to focus on small things that they could understand. Can imagine a 65 year old woman, and a 55 year old man trying to learn the gospel without reading the pamphlets or the scriptures? I realized that it is super difficult to memorize and/or capture the message if you cannot read it for yourself. Some of the best lessons we had with them was us trying to teach them how to pray. We just kept repeating, and repeating, the different steps so that they could organize it all in their heads. The first prayer that Victoria said went a little something like this, ¨ Heavenly Father……… bless us with baptisms of bread and families… Jesus…. Amen.¨ I almost couldn’t hold in my laughter. I had told her that she should thank the Lord for the bread that she had, and for her family, and to ask about where or not she should be baptized. Well… she had the words right, at least which counts. Isidro was always really silly and like to say jokes but not when we ¨talked of God¨. He used to make me laugh so much because he can’t see very well, he has nervous habit of always looking up. What I mean is he doesn’t like to look people in the eyes. For some reason he just can’t do it. I loved hearing him share stories about when he was little and see the pictures of when he and Victoria were younger. I really don’t think that they will ever fully understand the gospel completely in this life, but I think they will gain more understanding of what we have taught them in the next.

I am getting really close here to 13 months in the mission. By my count I have 340 days left.  This last Thursday we had the opportunity to go to the temple.  I had the opportunity to do sealing ordinances. What a very spiritual moment I had. The temple worker only asked from our group for two missionaries to do the sealings.  I was chosen and another missionary from my zone named Elder Narvaez. We were there on behalf of children. I had some things running through my mind the entire time that I was in there. I was thinking that this is the first time that I have seen this ordnance and this is what I missed when Aubrei got married. That made me a little sad. I also thought about the future, that someday this is what I am going to do with my future wife and my children will be sealed to us. Yes, somewhere in the very near future… sometimes it hard for me to realize that I really am 20 years old and that half of my mission is over… that I have to go home to study, to work, to find an eternal companion. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All in all it was a very rewarding spiritual experience.
Pictures...Two of them are of the temple and one is of a really big rock that I was trying to move.  Let me just tell you I think that Hercules would had have problems with this one too!

The Rock…Imagine it like the story of the man that was commanded of the LORD to move the rock. I don’t know if you have ever heard this story, but there once was a man that was really obedient to the Lord. The Lord commands him to move a massive stone in the middle of the field. All day long he is there trying to move it but couldn’t because it is so big. His back starts to hurt and his arms start to ache, but he never gives up. After a few days of trying he starts to get upset, after a few weeks he starts to murmur.  He knows that he shouldn’t, so he kneels to pray.  He asks the lord why he can’t move the rock.  The Lord then says to him... good servant, I knew that you could never move the rock... I was just waiting for you to ask me how... what took you so long? 

What are we waiting for... do we want to do things our way or the Lords way? 

You know that I love you!!!!! All of you!!!!!  Elder Harris