Monday, October 15, 2012

I Love My Savior,

            These last two years of my life I have spent in the great country of Peru. I had set aside my life back home to take on another, a more spiritual and uplifting life serving the Lord. I now know that I have made the most important and influencing decision in my entire life.  
            I have always marveled at the way the prophets in general conference talk about their missions and I thought to myself before my mission, “why?”  Now, I know why. There are no words that adequately describe how I feel now as I leave this country that I have grown to love. I have walked its streets and taught its people the marvelous plan of happiness. I personally have felt happiness like I have never felt before as I have helped the Peruvian people come to the knowledge of our Heavenly Father. I know that my father in heaven lives and blesses his children. That he is the God of yesterday, but also the God of today. He sanctifies us as we go about doing his work, and blesses us when we strive to do what is right. He never leaves us, he is always with us. I have learned that God is forgiving and patient with those that are not following the path of righteousness. He loves unconditionally and will always do everything that he can do to save us from sin. He sent his son.
            Christ paid with his own life, the price of justice, allowing mercy to enter in and save mankind. I know that Christ lives. I know that his divine affection is full of anticipation and hope for our return to him. He waits for us to return, he waits to hug each and every one of us and to tell us that he loves us. How great will be the day when we can tell him that we love him.  We  can show our love by keeping the commandments that he gave to us. Christ did so much for us, even he gave his own life, but what are we willing to give in exchange? Will we get up early on Sunday to go to church? Will we pay an honest tithing? Will we keep the law of chastity? Will we love one another unconditionally? My favorite scripture contains a question that Jesus presented unto the Nephites. The question is simple. Christ asked them ¨What type of man ought ye to be¨ and then in reply said ¨as I am¨. We must endeavor to be like Christ. I have learned this lesson on my mission that a man is nothing when he is not in the service of God and his fellow man. Christ never stopped being our Savior. In the darkest hour in Gethsemane he still said, though the pain was unbearable ¨ not my will, (but) thine be done¨ Oh that I could say these words when I am sad and have lost all hope. Our Savior came to this world with a heaven sent mission of peace. He sent me to Peru to continue the work that he began when he walked with us. What privilege I have had to serve as the messenger of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
            The Lord’s gospel is summed up in its simple beauty with five principles. It all begins with faith in Christ, then comes repentance, baptism by emersion, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and enduring to the end. I have taught this gospel to hundreds of people and many have come to know the true meaning of happiness and joy as they too partook of the fruit. The gospel has become for me sweeter, and all that is sweet and whiter than all that is white. Though I will miss being in Peru, I know that I have done what the Lord asked me to do. I know that one day I will see these people again. It will be a day of tears and a day of great joy. Though may it be in this life or the next I wait for that day with much anticipation.
            I have thought about what I have really learned here on the mission and simply put, I have learned to have true faith in God. There is no other power in heaven or on earth that is more important than the priesthood. I have learned that we must cherish it and we must use it often to benefit our families. It is by this power that the family is not only a concept of earthly duration but an eternal blessing given to us from our father in heaven. I want to have an eternal family. I want each of us to always strive to keep the commandments so that one day we are all together in the kingdom of heaven. We can do it. We can keep the commandments. We will make it back to the presence of God. We will find the eternal peace we have long waited to have.

            I have a family here on earth… they are so good to me… I want to share my life with them for all eternity… families can be together forever…. through heavenly fathers plan… I always want to be with my own family… and the lord has shown me how I can… the lord has shown me how I can.

I love all of you, more than I can express in words.
Elder Jaren T. Harris

See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 8, 2012

I cannot let him down

Dear Mom and Dad,
 I want to thank you both for always helping me to feel like I had a great potential. I know that I am not the perfect son and that I have made my fair share of mistakes, but I have always felt the love and hope of my parents.

I really enjoyed conference  yesterday and the day before last. I felt inspired and spiritually uplifted as I listened to the special talks of our modern day prophet and his apostles. What great talks they all gave!
I really liked the talk that Elder Holland gave about Peter and the other apostles going fishing because they really didn’t know what to do after the death of Christ. It is moving to think that after all of the time that Peter was with the Lord on the earth that so easily he forgot his duty to him. I think that this is what I don’t want to happen to me. I know that after serving a two year mission it might become easy for me to slack off and let myself fall into the same old ways, but to what end would that serve me? The mission is similar to the time that Peter had with Jesus and I feel like I cannot fall into the same mistake that he made. Applying the doctrine of Jesus Christ is not just a 2 year deal, and afterward the world returns as if nothing had ever happened, as if I had never left at all. The Lord chose me to be here in this time in my life and I cannot let him down by not applying what I have learned in this short time.

Something that I did learn from the conference that I think is going to affect my life is that I gained a greater understanding of the gifts that God gives his children. I have been thinking about the gifts that the Lord has blessed me with and I have been thinking how I should apply these gifts for the benefit of my future. I think that the Lord has given me a sound mind and a strong body. I have been blessed with a lot of personality and a drive to do what is right.  I believe that I am intelligent (though some others might not think so, lol). I have been thinking about the future and I know that not everything is not always going to work out just perfectly but I do know that there is a lot of potential. I think that this will be a topic to discuss when I arrive, so keep your minds open to the possibilities.

I was thinking about how much time I have spent  on a plane in my entire mission. Basically the average time is about 48 hours; this is after summing up the time in my last three flights to get back home. Crazy to think that I have been in a plane for so much time already, when before my mission the only time that I can remember being on a plane is when I went to Vegas by myself.

Well this next week I am going to send a power house testimony so that you all at home can cry like dogs…. Well not that much but I will send my testimony.

Monday, October 1, 2012

15 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What’s up?
Can you guys believe that I will be in the house in 15 days!!!!!!!!!!!!! How nuts is that. I feel like it is just a dream, that someone is joking with me and any moment now the cameras are going to come out and say ¨GOT YA¨.
Good news… one of my best friends from the mission is now going to BYUI. I don’t know if you remember Elder Divis. I talked about him a really long time ago when I was in Jicamarca with the other Elder Vasquez and Elder Lucas. I got a letter from him and he is super happy. He is loving life because there are lots of good single ladies that want a return missionary husband. I am hoping that after a time I might be able to move in with him and I think Elder Emett too.
This week on the mission side of things was a little bit more difficult than normal. It looks like I am going to be ending my mission with four more baptizes on my very last Saturday in the mission. I hope that the people that we are preparing are going to get there because they all have great potential. One of the people that we are going to baptize is a single mom and her daughter that should have gotten baptized this month however she wasn’t able to pass the interview. So she has had to wait for some time so that she can prove that she really wants to go to church.  The other two baptisms are going to be a lot easier because they both really want to get baptized. One is a separated father that needed a lot of spiritual guidance. We are helping him.  He really likes it a lot. The other is a young guy whose name is Efrain. He had been coming to church for quite some time and I have always thought that he was a member of the church. I didn’t know that he wasn’t a member of the church. So we are starting to teach him, but he already knows everything,  so it is going to be really easy. I know that God has blessed us with these people in these last few days.  I hope that all is going to go well.
I will be sure to pray for the people that are sick right now. I think it is sad that a lot of people that I have known throughout my life are starting to get sick or have passed away. I guess this is another sign that I have been gone for two full years.  I know that this won’t really hit me until I have arrived home and I go to church that first Sunday.
I am excited however to meet up with Haleigh’s  ¨Oliver,¨ he will have to pass the test. Well I am sure that he has passed Dad’s test but he needs to pass my test too. Though I don’t know what that test is going to be.
The end is near, the finish line in sight… I have to take the last few steps.

We won the battle

Bueno todo bien en Sion

I guess I am coming to the point in my mission when it is just not enough to baptize little kids.  What I mean is that I love to baptize families more than I like to baptize kids. Baptizing a family is so much more gratifying. 

We had another baptism this week... which is super exciting. This family that we helped to get baptized was an extreme struggle. The same day of the baptism we called him early in the morning so that we could remind him and his wife. They told us that they wanted to talk…that always means that something bad is going to happen. So when we got there we were super scared that he had done something bad. Something along the lines of drinking or smoking because he had had a problem with addictions… but it was something a lot less bad but still difficult solution. Basically in the week he had traveled to another city called Trujillo.  While there he had talked to an Adventist friend. This ¨friend¨ of his talked him out of getting baptized. She filled him up with lies and stories about the church that aren’t true. He was extremely confused and sad that he had lost so much respect for the church. We started to show him scripture after scripture. We won the battle, don’t you worry.  We had to pull him out of the fiery depths of the underworld but we saved him. It just amazes me how fast Satan works against us, I have seen so many different ways that Satan tries to attack the family it is no wonder for me at all to think that he is truly the father of lies. 

Everything went as perfect as crunchy peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwiches. They showed up on time for the baptism. (That was a first in the history of my mission) We had the bishop baptize the wife and my companion baptized the father of the family. 

My companion is going home this week, which is super strange.  He is making me feel a little bit “trunkie”  but not all that much. I guess that I just have the fighter’s spirit and I can’t let myself get lazy. I have a goal to achieve I want to try to achieve.  I want to bring 80 souls to the waters of baptism in my mission.   I think that I might get pretty close but I still need to find more families. So pray for me that I might have the opportunity to find new families this week, so that I will be able to baptize this next month. Please be specific with God so that he gives a specific blessing. I will try hard to find new people this week to teach so that I can have a ton of success this last month of my mission.
Elder Harris (loves you)

Monday, September 24, 2012

God testifies it to my soul

Well family, I guess the end is near.
I am getting closer and closer but still feel like it is so very long away. I guess we will all really start to feel the end after this next week because we will be in October.  

This week went really well because we had another baptism. We baptized the family of Victor and Elena Arias. They were such a fun family to teach. Brother Arias is one of those guys that doesn’t say very much but hears everything that everyone else is saying.  He knew from the first day that we found him that he was ready for the gospel. His wife had taken the lessons from the missionaries a really long time ago.  When he was finally ready, a lady in the ward gave us the reference and we went. That first lesson was awesome because he right there on the spot accepted to be baptized. The only down side however is that they were and are always working. He has to work almost every single day. It was a really big problem for them to go to church on Sundays. Yet after explaining a little bit about the importance of the day they began to change.
Then about a month later they were baptized.

There is no other joy greater than helping a family get ready to get baptized. The feeling is like pitching a no hitter, finishing a marathon, painting a master piece or cheering at the homecoming game. As I think more about it, those other things aren’t even as good because baptizing a family is even better. I know that the gospel is true every single time that I baptize people.   God testifies it to my soul. I feel closer to him and I know that he is happy with me. I am going to be sad that I will not have the opportunity after my mission to help people the same way as I have helped the Peruvians. The Lord however has called me here to teach me of what I must do for the rest of my life.  I think that preaching the gospel is not just a two year calling… but a standard of living, a model of life. As the prophets have said we must stand in higher places, I think that means we must rise above the fear, and doubts. We must be bold in our determination to help others receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know this work is what He wants us to do.  So as Joseph Smith said, ¨shall we not go on in such a great cause.¨

I think that one of the greatest things that I have learned on my mission, to be honest, is the great appreciation that I have found for my own parents. There are many people here in Peru and I am sure in the world, which were not born of goodly parents. I have been so blessed as to have been gifted my parents. I have thought many times about the blessings of having been born into a family that already had the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that I have had parents that are active (and still are active) and spent the time to teach me the principles of the gospel. I hope that you both, Mom and Dad when you thinking about me, serving in the lord’s work, you can see this service as the fruits of raising me the right way. My success is your success; my baptisms, are your baptisms. Of course all these things belong to the Lord and he should always be accredited to him for he is God and he gives us all things that we stand in need of.
I love you all and miss you all.
                               See you soon

Monday, September 17, 2012

I don’t want to ¨play¨ prayer today

Well it looks like the world doesn’t wait for the return of the Peruvian missionary man.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HALEIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Who would have thought that Haleigh would be 18 years old when I come back from the mission? That she would be having boy toys and would be a senior in high school? I never thought that the day would come when most of us are no longer live in the house but that we are just getting too old.  I wonder sometime what it is going to be like to find my own eternal companion and then I remember ¨WOOOOOOHHH THERE, BUDDY!!!!! YOU’RE NOT READY FOR THAT KIND OF COMMITTMENT JUST YET!!!!!¨ I am proud of Haleigh and Saydi the both of them are toughing it out, holding down the fort back home.

This last week was stake conference in my stake here in Peru. Elder Uceda on of the 70s came to speak with us. He gave a fantastic talk. He talked about the importance of really being dedicated to doing the right thing at the right time. I thought that he was really speaking to the Peruvian people because sometimes I feel like they just don’t understand the importance of the gospel. He said something that really made me think. He made an interesting point. He began by sharing a story of his youth when he would play with his brothers and sisters. He told us that the game that they used to love to play was ¨Doctor¨. As he shared the story he laughed and joked about how his little sister always had the mysterious sickness and that he as the doctor needed to find the cure.  After sharing his story he began to become very serious and said that other people are playing another of kind of make believe but with the gospel. He said that some people ¨play¨ the gospel.  He said, today I will ¨play¨ tithing but tomorrow I don’t want to ¨play¨… that most people see the commandments as a game and less as a serious law of God. Well today I am not going to ¨play¨ the Sabbath day because I don’t feel like going to church, or I don’t want to ¨play¨ prayer today because I don’t feel like praying. He testified that these people will not live up to their divine potential and it will be much harder for them in the life to come. I know that what he said is true; if we don’t see the commandments of God as blessings, we will be unable to comprehend the importance of completing them.  

I feel like the world is at an end. Wow it stinks that I won’t be coming home until 7:06 PM. So my big question is what are we going to eat? I am sure that I am going to be dying of hunger after having eaten plane food all day long and all night. If the family wants to go, I am dying for a big delicious burrito in café Rios, but before we can go however I need to released as a missionary. Which reminds me where are we going to release me, in the church or in the house? Who all are going to be there? Do I have an interview with the stake president? Do I have an interview with the Bishop? Is my homecoming talk the same week that I come back? Where will I be sleeping in the house? Is Dad going to have to work the week I come home? Can I visit mom in the preschool one day? Can I go to CMR during the Spanish classes of Haleigh and Saydi and speak with the teacher in Spanish embarrassing them in any way possible? How long will Aubrei be with us? Can I drive the new car? When will we go to get my new drivers license? Can we go Snowboarding this winter? Should I show up in my glasses when I come home or in my contacts? Can Dad and I go and work out together, then afterward shoot hoops? Can I take mom out on a date so I can tell her about Peru?
I want an answer to each of these questions. LOL

I love you guys a ton

Elder Harris

Monday, September 10, 2012

the work goes on

Well the work goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on.
I feel weird because I am starting to find families that I won’t be able to see their baptisms.  I love the fact that I only have 4 weeks left after this week. I find it super remarkable that I have gotten this far and I still feel like I am only just leaving the MTC. I was thinking about what it is going to be like to step down off the plane and enter in that glass box that we have there in the Great falls airport. I was thinking how silly it would be if I just stood there in the other side of the glass for two or three minutes, gawking at you guys, so that you guys are held in suspense. I even thought about waiting until every other person on the plane gets off, so that I am the last person to disembark. I don’t know… I think that my heart will be pounding so hard that I probably will forget about doing a prank, and be more concerned about not having a heart attack.  

The work has been going well.  I think that I am going to have baptisms this last month of my mission. My new companion is very obedient and likes to work hard so we are getting along well. He is from Guatemala, so that makes him the fifth Guatemalan that I have been with in my mission. He is a convert to the church and was for the longest time the only member in his family. Later in his life when he was just about to go on a mission his mom and his sister were baptized in the church. His dad for a really long time was a pastor of another church but after getting a little bit older stopped teaching. From what my companion tells me he now is going to our church, but doesn’t want to get baptized just yet. Elder Vasquez wants to go back and baptize him when he gets home.  He is a fresh change from my last companion. I know that I didn’t get along with my last companion very well, but we did have a lot of success. I just am not the type of person to give up at the last minute. I feel like I signed up for two years so I should work for two years.

I did have a spiritual experience this week. We were teaching a new family, that we had just found, about the importance of going to church and the gospel in general. As we began to talk more and more the father of the family became excited. At the end of the lesson he explained to us that he had been going to the church in the jungle with his family, and that his sister-in-law is a member of the church there and the he wants to know more about the gospel. We then started to talk about the great blessing that the Lord has prepared for his family and that the way they could be more blessed is by getting baptized.  He accepted to get baptized right there on the spot. However he is going to have to go back to the jungle for 2 weeks and then he is going to return and he wants us to come back and teach him when his family is in Lima again. We were super happy for him and the choice that he is making, but I won’t be there to see the baptism.

This was the first time that it has really hit me that I am going to be coming home in a very short period of time. I know that I am always saying silly things in the letters that I write.  I was always joking about coming home, I never really thought that the day would come. Yet as we were talking to this man about the possibly of getting baptized with this family in October I couldn’t help but think that I will not even be in the same country. The lessons that I have learned here on my mission have been many but God never stops teaching me new ones. I have come to realize that for all of the complications, and difficulties that I have had on my mission, I have come to love Peru so much. Many times in my mind I have thought about what Dad said to me right before I left for the mission.  He said, ¨we will be crying when you leave and you will be crying when you return¨. He was right. I am starting to feel the weight of coming home from the mission more and more on my shoulders. There will be a lot to discuss when we get home but right now is not the time.  I need to stick it out till the end. I imagine that god wants me to learn what it must feel like when he loses his children. Maybe when they stop talking to him through prayer or when the time has just run out. I can imagine that God, right before the second coming, will feel the same that I am starting to feel now. That feeling of ¨well I did everything that I could¨ but now the time has come to go on with the rest of the plan.

There is only so much that I can do to make the world a better place. The rest they have to choose to change themselves. But no one said I can’t stop trying!

Elder Harris

Monday, September 3, 2012

42 days left

Well the end is nearer…

My companion is ending his mission today. I will now be receiving my new companion. 


This last month I am just going to have to put all of my effort in the work so that I can have a great last month of my mission. It is so hard to believe that I am already in the last month of my mission. I feel like I am just getting closer and closer to jumping off the slough box cliff again and this time, just like last time, I am a little bit timid and nervous. I guess that’s what I should feel. 

I guess I will be the first to admit that these last three months have been a little bit difficult. It hasn’t been difficult because I haven’t been having success, it is because I have had problems with my companion the entire time. I guess that’s just the way things go. I hope that my new companion will help me out a lot this last month. The companion that is going home right now at the end of our time together we finally were starting to get along. I guess there are sometimes in the mission when the lesson is hidden behind the leaves. I know that I have had the opportunity to teach and to help a lot of people out here in the mission, but I still know that the person that I have helped the most is well… Myself. 

Here begins the last 6 weeks of my mission…. I don’t know if anyone is counting but that means I have 1 month and a half… 42 days left, or in other words 1008 hours left, or in smaller still 60480 minutes or just for kicks 3628800 seconds. Ha, ha, ha no I am not “trunkie!!!!!!!”

I have to look at it like a big giant number so that I don’t start to slack off.  I need to work hard all the way to the last day. I feel like I am trying to give myself a pep talk, and to be honest ,it is working. I think writing to you all at home has given me a better understanding of patience and love for those that I miss the most.

I feel like my mind right now is scattered about like Easter eggs on Easter Sunday. I am having a hard time concentrating on what I am writing because I have a lot of things that I need to do today.
I missed your letter today I am sure that you all just had a rough day yesterday or something like that…. But don’t worry I know that you all love me. 

keep struggling and fighting

Elder Harris is getting a little bit “trunkie” but not enough to stop my rampage of victory!!!!!!!!!!
I will be honest the Lord loves hard workers. I just keep working and I know that the lord just keeps blessing us. We just lost a great family this last week. We had been teaching a family of 7 people. One of the biggest families that I have ever taught in my mission, and they all were preparing to get baptized. We had been teaching them for just about 2 months when they just started to go downhill. We were trying to rescue the problems but they basically decided that it wasn’t the time for them to become converted to the gospel and they asked us to leave.  I had been felling very upset because I had given to these people all of my heart. I loved going to the house and teaching this family but they decided to go on a different route and I couldn’t convince them to not go. Like I said, I had been feeling pretty down thinking why is it that the Lord wanted me to have this type of experience? What does the Lord want me to learn? I just kept going on my way this last week teaching people and making contacts and helping more people come to the gospel of Christ. Then yesterday the Lord answered my question! This Sunday before last I had been contacting and I had knocked on a door. It was a young guy that asked me about which of all the churches is the right one. I laughed a little.  I explained that we could teach him but he didn’t have any time then. So we asked for his name and his address and we decided to come back. Well the day that we planned to come back in the week he wasn’t there, this usually happens, so I thought nothing of it. We tried a few times in that week to go back and see if he was there. We found him on Friday. We decided that we were going to meet with his Dad and this mom and the rest of the family. Judging from the house I thought that it was going to be a very small family. Seriously the house was a total wreck. It was beaten down and almost without a door. The door was just barely hanging on the hinge, is what I mean. So any way this last Sunday we went to the house.  When we arrived there his father didn’t want to talk to us because he was busy.  I started to use my persuasion skills and I finally achieved getting into the house… he gave me 5 minutes.  
Here’s what happened: We started to teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and everything started to change. As we began to explain to him what our message really was all about he began to ask questions.  He  began to like what we were teaching.  He invited his son to come in and then his wife and then his other daughter and then his other son and then HIS OTHER SON AND OTHER SON…………. Until we had a family of 10!!!!!!!!!!  They want to know more, the father of the family wants us to come back to teach the family and to teach specifically his kids. He said more than one time in the lesson ¨I feel like I have already heard this before,¨ ¨you are explaining what I had been thinking for years,¨ ¨where have you been,¨¨this is what i am looking for,¨ and much, much more.
The lesson is this: The Lord knows that we work hard and sacrifice for people, and he knows that sometimes the things that we teach leave our control when people choose to use their agency for evil. Yet in the greatest moments of sadness and doubt, if we just keep struggling and fighting with unwavering faith, the Lord will offer unto you blessings that are miracles. This is how miracles happen… look at what it says in Ether 12:12 and then tell me I’m wrong.  Just kidding, but it does provide some clear evidence that what I am saying is true.
We must always remember Mathew 7:7.  Ask and ye shall receive,  look and ye shall find,  knock and it shall be open unto you.
When we need some help from God, I feel like we are timid in asking what we want. We shouldn’t feel that way if we were asking for something that could help other people. I think that most of the time we feel bad because we are selfish and we only ask for ourselves.  The Lord blesses those that remember to serve other people and gives to them a pure happiness that lasts for more than this life time.
What am I looking forward to when I get home?    Serving my family and Serving God.
 Elder Harris

Monday, August 13, 2012

And Then Lots of Cake

Hey family,

Well, it was pretty weird this last week with the passing of my birthday in the mission. I felt like it was any other day of the week until the very end of the day. My plan was just to not tell anyone, just let it all go by without a single word.  Someone found out and then in the house of one of my recent converts, we had a little party. Ok, it was a party without being a party, because it was Sunday. We started out as a little gathering with a hymn and a prayer. Then we just ate chicken, French fries, and then lots of cake.

My pension was really great too. She bought me a big cake that was super delicious.  Then she gave me a bottle of men’s cologne. It really smells super good. So I was pretty happy with her for that. She loves us a ton and helps us. I am always thinking that it must be impossible to be her.  She lives a life that is so difficult.  Her husband leaves for work at 7:00 in the morning and doesn’t get back until about 9:00 at night. So she is raising her three little kids by herself and they are a handful.  Then on top of that she has to cook every day for the missionaries. 

How has been this last year of my mission since my last birthday? I think that this has been the time that I have learned most on my mission how to be a good teacher of the gospel. I know that I am not the best teacher in the whole world. I know that I still have a lot of room to improve. I do feel like I can really get the message across to the people that we are teaching. I have learned that the Lord really does bless those that are obedient to his commandments. I have learned that revelation from God often times comes in the most unexpected forms and often times it is not what I was thinking at all. I have learned that there is no limit to the love that we should show to our neighbors. They are in great need of the truths that we have.  Why not just give them the light of the gospel?

I have thought about it many times in my mission, what is it that I am looking forward to? It’s funny that you would ask me that Mom. I think that the biggest thing that I am looking forward to is the look in your faces when I walk through the airport. I expect Dad and Mom to start to cry. I look forward to you all commenting on my features… like if I am taller than you all thought, or if I have gotten even more devilishly handsome. I look forward to hugging all of you but most definitely mom first of all. I look forward to the many stories that I expect to hear and tell about what has happened in these last two years. I look forward to going out to eat with the family not because of the food but more because I miss the company of you all at home. I look forward to going to Disney Land a lot because I just want to spend my time with the family doing things that we all love to do. I am really, really looking forward to sharing spiritual knowledge with the family, talking about the gospel,  and reading the scriptures as a family. I am worried, however, that I will be reading the scriptures in Spanish while you guys are reading in English, but I guess that does matter all that much. 

I find that most of the time I forget that I am coming home in two months because I am so occupied with all of the other things that I need to do. I have seen being a zone leader as a blessing and a well…………….. Lesson. I think that the Lord wanted me to be a zone leader so that I could help out not just the people of Peru but also the missionaries. I was thinking about it the other day.  When I finish my mission I will have been a zone leader for almost one whole year of my mission, I think just short one months and a half. The life as a leader is really hard but I think I do better under pressure, maybe for that reason, the Lord placed me in this position for so long. I just hope and pray that these last two months goes by quickly but with a ton of success and baptisms. I will work up to the very last day. I can’t stop until they take away my plaque, and I fall to the earth tired and exhausted. Alright maybe not that bad, but still figuratively speaking it sounds cooler like that.

Dad you know you are the man! I miss you too but hold off a little longer Papito, don’t worry when I get back the moment it will be biblical.

  Suyo Atentamente
  Elder Captain America

Monday, July 23, 2012

Home in 81 Days

THE MISSION HERE DO NOT TELL ME ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!! 16th de October is the only thing that they tell me… nothing more and nothing less. They don’t want the missionaries to get all trunkie and want to go home faster, so they don’t tell them anything. So I officially don’t know anything about my itinerary.

I am sorry about not really answering a lot of the questions that you guys at home ask me all the time. To be honest, it is because most of the time, I don’t know the answers to the questions.
About the visit with the president, he had to cancel it. He had just gotten back of the jungle after visiting Tarapoto. He needed to get a bunch of things done, so he was unable to visit with us. Now about baptisms and other such things, we are kicking butt and taking names. This week we are going to baptize 4 people, next week 5 more people and the next week after that we hope that everything goes well and we baptize 7 people. My companion and I are still having problems, but we are trying to get them all worked out. He is not a bad guy. It’s  just that we have very different views on things. It’s like the difference between a republican and a democrat.

I had a strange conversation this week with one of my best friends here in the mission, whose name is Elder Divis. Elder Divis is ending his mission TODAY.  He has been one of my best friends throughout my mission and now he is going home. In my mind he is par with Elder Emett. So anyway, we all went to the same marriage for our couples that we are helping to get baptized. (that I will talk about in just a second)  I had a super miraculous opportunity to talk to him again, after not seeing him for 6 months. As we began to talk, we got around to the conversation about what we are going to be and what we are going to do with our lives. For quite some time now I have been in indecision, I just don’t know what I want to do. I asked him well what I should do just as a joke, and he said… ¨Elder Harris I give you a prophecy, that your name will be known throughout the whole world,¨ we both started laughing.  I said to him, “well I guess that means that I am going to have to be the President of the United States of America.”  THAT’S WHEN THE LAUGHING SUDDENLY STOPPED. I looked at him and he looked at me. We both thought the same thing… WHY NOT? I am not saying that I now want to try to be the President of the United States, that would be very absurd. Yet on the other hand what stops me of being a great politician, or a governor or a senator… someone that makes the difference. I have some of the talents required. I like to speak in public, and I like to help people better their lives, I consider myself a hard worker… I have been thinking about it a lot lately, you could call it I have been playing the ¨what if game¨. Hmmmmm, something to think about for the furture... So to answer Grandma Harris´s question this week, well grandma, I just don’t know… yet!?!

This week has been a very interesting week.  We have been doing a lot of work so that we will have the opportunity to baptize a few families. I truly believe that the prayers at home have been helping me find a lot of success.  I truly believe in the miracles that the Lord gives through our obedience. It’s funny that you guys at home are finding out some of the many blessings that someone can receive from following the Word of Wisdom. (At home we are eating healthy, fruits, grains, vegetables and meat very sparingly) As we begin to follow the Lord in all aspects we will find blessings that are temporal blessing and spiritual blessing. For example, if we read in Mosiah chapter 2, verse 41, the Lord blesses those that are willing to obey with specific blessings, and then invites us to marvel at their state. After that he invites us to do the same so that we can receive the same joy. I also love the fact that King Benjamin says that they will live with God in a never ending state of happiness… super cool beans right?

So anyway, I am Super ready to see you guys at home in 81 days, but you will all just have to wait so that I can return with honor from Peru in three months. I know that these next three months are going to blast …. But don’t worry… I always end things with a BANG.

Love you guys and miss you guys…. Always,

        Elder Harris A.K.A. SUPER MAN 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Q and A

Wow this week just kicked me in the butt.

To start I will give answers to the questions.

1.    Yes I have received the pants and the shirts; I got it all, so you guys don’t need to worry about that stuff.  Send the card normally too with the contacts. I don’t have any so I have to wear my glasses everyday but that’s alright because my glasses make me look like SUPER MAN. So you know how that is.

2.    Well I am not having a very good time with my companion. We are having a lot of problems adjusting right now to the styles that we like to teach in. I am trying to find solutions. On the zone leader side of things, I am trying to get my zone to launch off the ground, but it is difficult fighting against laziness and the overall feeling of not being excited to work for the Lord. My goal is to lead by example and to start baptizing more and more and more people.

3.    The baptisms that I had this last week. We had a great week last week but it’s been a lot more difficult this week. We have a few families that we are helping so that they can get to the waters of baptism. We are looking at having least 10 more baptisms in these next few weeks.  I am hoping that we are going to be able to pull through this next month, August, and in September so that I can come home with my hands held high.

4.    Well I have now mastered more than 8 different types of whistles. So to be honest, I think it is going to be very difficult for me to adjust to an environment that doesn’t whistle at all. I just whistle for everything now. I am practically Jiminy Cricket… I am excited to show all of the little talents that I have collected here and there though out my entire mission.  However here in Lima we do more knocking than whistling.
5.    My new area is big and covered with Mountains but we are mostly sticking close to the church. I have found that this is one of the keys to success here in the mission. The people that live the closest to the church are the people most likely to go to church. And YES, mom, there is a ton of dust. There is lots and lots, and lots and lots, and lots of dust.

6.    I do have a new pension, she is the best one that I have had in my entire mission… that includes when I was my own  She cooks up everything that I love to eat here in Peru and she is always super happy and laughing. My pension and her husband are a younger couple that has three kids. They are both coverts to the church and they love the gospel a ton. My pension’s husband is our ward mission leader. The members still feed me the same things that I have been eating my entire mission………….rice and rice and rice and rice and rice and rice and chicken and rice and rice and rice and rice.

7.    Well my new apartment is really cool beans; I will be sending a picture of the apartment here in the next few weeks. Don’t worry… be happy.

Ok that is the entire list of questions.

Now I just want you all to know that I had a terrible well not that bad.  I am super nervous right now. Tomorrow President Blunck, my mission president, is going to come to my area and have a work visit with me. Wish me luck.
Elder Harris

Monday, July 9, 2012


Hello Family!

What a totally crazy week I have been having. I am pretty sure that this next week we are going to have just about…. 8 baptisms. I don’t know if we are going to be able to pull it off.  One of the families has to get married and they are having a lot of trials right now that are slowly driving them apart. I am, however, very happy with the progress that I have been having here with many of the investigators that I am teaching.

We have a great new family that we are teaching right now. It is a family of 8 people. The Mom and Dad have been coming to church for quite some time now. We just need that the kids to start coming to church. It has been a difficult battle because teaching so many at the same time.  All with different needs really makes us teach in a new and exciting way that allows them to learn as a family. In the family they have 5 kids one boy that is 8 years old and 4 girls that have 14, 17, 20, and 22. It’s practically our family but they have an extra kid and the boy is the youngest of all of the family.  So anyway we are teaching them a lot. Their names are Jorge (46), Margarita (40), Katy (22), Sandra (20), Brigitte (17), Mirella (14) and Luis (8). We are hoping that this family is going to get married in August, right on my birthday.  

There is a lot of stuff going on right now in my life here in Peru. I have been having a tough time with my companion. I know that patience is one of the great lessons that God feels I still need to work on.

I have been excited, however, as I can see the time going by faster and faster. I can’t help but think a little bit about what it is going to be like to come home in three months. These next three months are going to pass by super quick… I know… that’s why I need to work my butt off in these next three months. My official goal is to leave my mission with 80 baptisms. I am going to do my best so that I can get there, and when I mean my best… I mean my best. I am not going to let myself get trunkie like the other missionaries that have my time usually become. If I get lazy my zone will find that as an excuse to get lazy too so…. I can’t let that happen. Salvation depends on my willingness to fight to the end.  I do have a tendency to leave things with a BANG! So I can’t make this time any different. 

So today I had a pretty strange prep day. I had to travel 2 hours in bus to get back to the offices of the mission to pick up some documents that are going to help me marry these people that I am teaching. Last night my companion said that he didn’t want to go all that much, so I called up my super great friend, Elder Woolstenhulme… I HAD A BIG GRINGO DAY!!!!! We went to McDonalds and we ate some super greasy burgers. I will be honest, I am kind of fat right now but I don’t even care!!!!  The best part was that we had a small adventure afterward we ended up going on the wrong bus to another part of Lima that was really super far away from where we needed to be. SUPER FUNNY. We were lost in Lima for about 30 minutes. We had to start asking people where to go. We ended up finding the bus that we needed to take us back to our areas.  It was super funny, silly and sort of scary at the same time. I am never going to live in a really big city because 1.the city is always changing 2. It’s super dangerous and 3. It is super smelly. Now I understand why we have been living my Montana for so many years. I have been having a lot of fun talking with another white guy all day. Elder Woolstenhulme has like 3 months in the mission. I am pretty sure I am going to have to track down his sister and pop her THE QUESTION. WOW she is a fashion designer and she is a hunka-hunka mama giraffe if you know what that means. I would just have to know her personality wise so that I can find my exaltation.  That’s what I am talking about. Hmmmm I think that I am thinking about this stuff too early.
So I am pretty much super happy with everything that’s been going on. I love my room, and my pension and, my investigators… I am slowly working through the companion problems but we’re getting better.

I just want to say something the grandma Murphy… I LOVE YOU. I love every single one of your letters and I read all of them. I feel really special when I am the only person that gets dear elder mail just about every week. I love you so much grandma! I want you to know that I am going to come down to California to see you some time. I don’t know when yet but one of this chances that I get to escape I am going to spend a week in your house. 

I can’t wait to see all of you…..
            Will you all wait for me????

                                                Elder Harris

P.S. Words of Wisdom
“Life is like a bus ride, if you get on the wrong bus, don’t worry… Just get on the next one. “

Monday, July 2, 2012

Next Week

Well, I had a ton of stuff written but now I have to start all over again.  I accidentally hit the cable that connects the computer with the energy.


I promise that I had 2 pages of stuff that I had written and now I am out of time. I think that what I can do is write a short summary of what happened this week.

We had three baptisms they were a great because we helped a Mom, her daughter and a little girl from a different family get baptized. Their names are Mirella (the mom) and her daughter that is in the picture with her Julia.  Then the little girl that is all by herself is Grace.  I will have to explain more about them this next week.  We found these families from a reference that the grandmother gave to us. The grandmother is really great she has been a member for years but now she has the rest of her family in the church YAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a really great week because we are working really had because I want to help a lot of people.
I will write a ton this next week. I promise
Elder Harris

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Work Goes On

Well the work goes on and on and on….

I love this work, the thrill of the first lesson and the excitement when they understand. I love the powerful spirit that can be felt in the baptisms and the love and hope given from the new converted people. There is nothing like the work of the Lord to get the heart pumping and the blood and boiling, (but not in a bad way but in a good way.)  We were able to baptise another family of three this week. They were super fun to teach them because I didn’t have to do the hard part. These people were found by my new companion Elder Leiva and his old companion and had had a few lessons already. We just had to give them the rest of the lessons that they needed so that they could be baptized this week.

They have a really neat story. Their names are Rosario (mom) and Darwin (son) and Nayeli (Daughter). They come from a super catholic family that has basically banished them from the house. When my companion and his old companion started to teach this family, about the second lesson, their grandma caught on to what we were doing and came in to listen to what they were teaching and well….. It didn’t end very well. The little gray opened the door, then she started to attack the church, and they basically ended up destroying the Catholic Church with the doctrine of the True church of Christ. The catholic grandma had a fit with her 35 year old daughter later when they left, explaining to her that we are followers of the devil and that we have 7 wives and that we worship Joseph Smith. Her daughter didn’t want to hear any of that and started to meet my companion and his old companion in the church instead of in the house, so that they could escape the wrath of the little old granny.  That’s when I come in. We were starting to teach her the rest of the way giving the Daughter Rosario and her two kids a good testimony in the gospel. Then this week they got baptized.

Wow, I am super happy that you guys had a great time in the JUNGLE of Montana. I hope that maybe once in a while you thought, wow, this rain is what Jaren had to walk in almost every day when he was in the jungle.  I love the rain a lot, but even more now that I was a part of it for so long.
We are having a great week this week we are going to play a lot of Ping-Pong I think because we have a table right in front of our house in the church. The both of us really like to play, speaking about my companion and I.  So…. I am going to become a super Ping-Pong master. I will defend the truth with my Ping-Pong skills of justice. LOL

Hey I love you guys a lot……

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Heaven Would Not Be Heaven if my Family Wasn't There With Me!

Well they sent me back to Lima….
I guess that is what the lord wants from me at this time. They sent me to another Zone in Lima to be the Zone leader there. I think that my zone is going to be a difficult one. There are some big problems in the zone with the level of work that the missionaries are putting into every week. I hope that this will be an opportunity to pump them up.

I have felt like in my mission the Lord has always sent me to a place that has lots of problems so that I can find the solutions.  Like my last companion Elder Villegas would always say… ¨Elder Harris you are just a magnet for problems, but I can put my confidence in you that you will be able to work everything out.”

When I saw the apostles, I was really far away but I was able to see them because I am basically one of the tallest people there. (lol) They talked about the great need that all of the members in Iquitos have a current temple recommend, and that if they are all trying to achieve that then Iquitos in the next few years has a great big chance of getting a temple.  He basically told them that everything depends on them. That if they can start to double and triple the number of members that have current temple recommends then there is a sure chance of a temple coming to Iquitos. COOL BEANS

My new companion is from Chile… his name is Elder Leiva. He has one month more than I have in the mission so he will be ending his mission in September and I will be ending in October. He is a little bit odd… he likes to talk a lot, but has a very good heart and works hard in the field, so I am excited to work with him.  I knew him from before because I had talked to him many times at zone conferences. He comes from a good LDS family. He has been a member of the church his entire life and has 3 other sibling. He has two brothers and one sister. His older brother served his mission in Columbia so he is the second in the family to leave to go on a mission. His parents are converts to the church and are still going strong. He loves animals a lot… but not the normal stuff, he likes snakes and insects and bugs and frogs. He’s basically a less radical version of Steve Erwin.

My new area is called Magnolias…. I am currently living in front of the church… which is totally awesome. It is so easy to just run from the church to the house in like two seconds if I forgot something. I also am now serving in the Stake building. Just so that I can give you guys an idea of where is Magnolias it is right next to Wiesse… my old area… so that should tell you that it is way out in the middle of nowhere. My new area boarders my old area that I served in that is called Mariscal Caceres.  Mariscal Caceres is the ward that I baptized Noe. So I am excited to see if I can escape to see him for a little bit and ask him how he is doing.

It is official very cold here in Lima. We are passing through winter here which is really nice because I was really starting to get sick of sweating so much. Well that’s not super true. I love the jungle with all of my heart. So, I can’t complain too much.  I am excited however to have the opportunity to find new people here in Lima to baptize. It looks like this next week we are going to baptized 4 people. Then we have a few more lined up for the following Saturday. There is this true joy when everyone gets in white and the spirit comes at the time of baptism. I am sure that Dad felt that same feeling on this mission and every time he baptized one of us kids. It is a great feeling…. I tend to think about what Elder Holland said about the Celestial Kingdom ¨heaven would not be heaven if my family wasn’t there with me.¨

I really have been extremely blessed to have a loving Father. I know that I have been blessed because I can remember countless times on my mission having the voice of my father run through my head. I can remember the counsel that I was given and the many expressions of love given. Dad I will never forget the days of baseball and you being my coach, I will never forget the many times that you were there supporting me when I was in speech, I will never forget all of the times we snuck out of the house to have a boys afternoon. I cherish these memories with all of my heart.  I think that one of the greatest counsels that you have given me is to ¨always live in the present¨… meaning that I need to live in the now. That I should do the things that are asked of me in the here and now, not procrastinating, so that my future just falls into the place I want it to be. Basically living life without having regrets like ¨what if I would have done this….¨ ¨I wish that I had listened to….¨ ¨why didn’t I…¨.

I Love you Dad I miss you and I can’t wait to come home to tell you all of the wild stories of my mission, but don’t worry mom and girls I will share everything with you guys too.  

JUST KNOW SOMETHING SPECIAL….. I picked up something for all you guys in Iquitos…. But I got something super special for Dad. I know that he is going to love it. You will all just have to wait until I come home to receive the presents.

I Love you all ELDER HARRIS

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Leaving Iquitos


I have been taking a ton of pictures lately, of all kinds of stuff, here in Iquitos.  I am going through a small crisis because this computer virus that is floating around here is contaminating everything, everywhere.

I have, however, really big news.

I am going to be leaving Iquitos.

I don’t know where just yet but I know that I will be going this next week on Tuesday. I will be sure to take a lot of pictures of all of the houses of all of the people that I have ever talked to. Don’t worry I have already begun taking lots and lots of pictures.

Apart from that note above, I am pretty happy.  I will be leaving a great family behind. I feel sad because I know that I won’t be there but happy because that they are going to get baptized. I will have my companion send me pictures of the baptism so that I can see them.

I sent Aubrei a letter in Spanish, I asked permission. I think, she will think, it is funny because she will have to translate it with John.

About my experience here in Iquitos:

I have seen many very interesting things here in Iquitos.  From people that just don’t want to change to  people that accept the gospel before we even start speaking. I have talked with Catholics, Evangelists, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Jehovah Witnesses, Alpha and Omegas, MMMs, Advents of the 7th day  and Atheists… and I still know that the church is true, and it only get better. I have walked soaking wet in rain and soaking wet in the blistering heat (sweat)… with my companion or with a member of the church. I have seen good missionaries and bad missionaries; I have seen the blessings of the Lord in my life and in the life of those that I teach. I have seen insects that I thought existed in the Pre historic times, walked on planks between broken houses like pirates do. I have drunk more soda than in any another time in my life and I just keep getting skinner because of the heat. Here in Iquitos I learned another language, and I learned how to teach. I have taught families how to return to their Father in Heaven, and I have scolded Pastors from other religions.  I have never felt so strange, and so good at the same time. I am really going to miss these humble people.

My plan is one day return with my own family. I have made many promises to many people that someday I will come back to show off my wife and kids. I will have to make good on my promise.

As I have come to understand more of Gods plan, I have gained a sure security that I will one day see this people again. I hope with all of my heart and soul that one day with my family I return to the presence of my Father and I can find the families and the people that I baptized with him. How great would be my joy if I saw the very same people that I taught as faithful followers of Christ even to the every end of our mortal days.
I have thought many times about our family and what we can do so that one day we can all make it back to the Glory of God… and I have come to the conclusion that we just need to stay dedicated to doing the right. As we live our everyday lives if we continually thank the Lord in prayer, read his holy scriptures, go to church and partake of the sacrament one day the Lord will give to us all of the things that we have ever wanted and more. I cannot wait to come home to give every last one of you a big hug and a loving smile. My plan is to lead by example for the rest of my life. I know that no unclean thing can enter in the kingdom of God so I must be diligent in keeping myself continually worthy to enter in the Lord´s temple.

I think that is why I want to go to the temple so badly. I know that the family is worthy of the Lord’s many blessings if we can all continually make it to the temple. Service is a key principle in the Lord’s work.  We need to help out grandpa Murphy a ton to get all of the family history updated. There is much more responsibilities then just worldly jobs. I hope that when I come back I don’t get caught up in that down ward stream. The Lord should always be first in our lives; we must stand as witnesses of God taking up upon ourselves his name, remembering him always, and following his commandments.

I know that the church is true. There is no uncertainty, there is no doubt.

Elder Harris

I haven’t gotten the package yet… no worries it will come. I don’t know who my companion is yet but I will send a picture. I will take a ton of pictures of Iquitos no worries.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Find, Teach, Marry, Baptize and Confirm Families

We went to Lima again this week.

I like getting on planes. I have really gotten used that nauseous feeling that I always get right at the beginning, but I am starting to like it.

 I sent you a picture of Elder Emett and I eating in McDonalds in the airport. It was the first time in a more than a month that I have eaten a hamburger.  So tasty! Of course not all of that trash on the table is from us.  We were with all of the Zone Leaders from Iquitos, Tarapoto , Yurimauas, and Moyobama.  Every month we all have the opportunity to get together to have a moment of laugher and stories in the airport.   I really enjoy this moment, because it is a two second break from the battle. After every Zone Leader Training I feel like President Blunck super charges my batteries! I just want to go out and baptize the whole world.  

I am super excited for these last 5 months… I want to give it my all so that I can baptize more Brothers and Sisters. We are hoping that at the end of this month we have another 10 baptisms. It is looking like it is very possible. We are teaching three really good families right now. The three families consist of families of 4. They need a lot more of the gospel right now.  They are a little new and they don’t understand all that well.  We are very excited because every family we are teaching knows the purpose that we have as missionaries that we are teaching them so that they can make and keep the covenant of baptism. We are hoping that we can get some of these families baptized this month but it will be a battle.  We have to get most of them married. The fight against the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom is the biggest battle here in Iquitos. The people are quick to understand the logic of the gospel and are quick to feel the prompting of the spirit. The problem that these people have is the addictions to the things of the world. As I have been teaching these families, I have been learning more about the importance of the family in God’s plan.  I can see how fiercely Satan wants to destroy the family. The focus of the mission right now is to find, teach, marry, baptize and confirm families. I think that I have been fighting in ignorance. This divine concept from President Blunck was presented to us at the beginning of this year. As I have changed my focus from baptizing anyone and everyone, to baptizing families, I have had more success than in any other time in my mission.

I am overly happy to be with my companion again.  We are going on 5 months together. This has been the most time that I have been with one single companion on my mission. Don’t get me wrong in the beginning, just like any beginning, it was very hard. We had clashing personalities. He wanted things his way, I want things my way, but we worked through our differences and now I am happier than ever. I think what this helped me to learn is that when I have my future wife I know that it is going to be hard in the beginning too, but there is no reason to just throw in the towel and give up.  We are given trials and problems from the Lord, he loves us, and he desires that we become better through the refiners fire. Just thinking about this make me think a lot about Aubrei.  I really hope that she is happy.  I hope that they aren’t having so many problems adapting to life together.  I hope the best for them.

Well the thing that I love the most right now is that I am going to have the chance to call you and talk to the family.  I am going to do my best to get Skype to work. I think that I have it all set up right.  I am going to use the computer that is in the church. I set up a Skype account and I think I sent you an invitation to be my friend. So you guys should look to be my friend.  I am going to call the house tomorrow morning just like I did last time… Early, so that I can get you, Mom, and you, Dad, at the same time.

LOVE YOU and I will talk to you tomorrow, Elder Harris

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two Families Get to the Waters of Baptism

Celebration Time ...

Well its official!  We had 9 baptisms this last week. We helped two families get to the waters of baptism.  We are super pumped.

 The first family is named Ruiz. They are the family of 5 that has a father, a mother and three kids. We found them because other missionaries were walking in the street and the father (George) starting talking to them. We then received the reference to go and visit him from the missionaries and we went. There weren’t married, and he has conditional freedom for some past mistakes, and the kids didn’t want anything to do with us. To be honest teaching this family was a miracle. We started just teaching the basics to the father and he started to change little by little. Finally one day he just told us that the gospel is true. That what we had explained to him about Joseph Smith was true. He then started to invite this wife (Milagros) to hear the message… she had tons of doubts because she grew up with pure Catholics… but she could feel the excitement that George had for the gospel. The Children were complicated, because the family was not unified because Milagros no is the true mother of the oldest two children. She is the step mother. We started the task of getting them to pray as a family, this is the best way to unify and to help them understand better the spirit. We then started to talk to them about the possibility of getting married so that they could get baptized. In one powerful lesson the whole family accepted.  We starting working on explaining the importance of going to church and the responsibly that we all have of partaking of the sacrament. Marcelo, Georgina and Kaxandra, the three children, started to see the change in their parents and they began to get more and more excited. Finally this last Friday we had their marriage and then on Saturday we had their baptism. Friday night we threw them a big party in the church we had more than, 90 people there. The party was the biggest activity that we have had in one single ward in my entire mission. Let me just tell you mom I am starting to get really good at coordinating weddings. I think I might have to go professional…… no just kidding.  The highlight of the moment was when George cried thanking us for the change that he received in his life. We felt really good after he told us that.

The other family that we were teaching that also got baptized this last week is the Sinti family. This family is one of the most humble families that I have had the opportunity to teach here one my mission. Graci is a single mother of 4 children. Her husband had an accident, he fell off of his motorcycle and hit his head.  The doctors thought that he was done, that he would not survive but he did. He recovered and was let out of the hospital. Everyone said that it was a miracle. Weeks later the family started to see that he was little bit  going, for lack of a better word, insane. He literally is one of the people now that we see in the movies that should be in an asylum. It’s sad because he cannot hold a train of thought for more than a few minutes before he jumps to another topic or he starts to cry, or he just stops talking altogether.  He isn’t violent which is good but he is no longer able to function well in his family. So Graci, the mom of the family, had to go to work so that she could support her children.  She sells beans, and other first-hand goods, like juices and potatoes and uka (which is a plant that they eat here a lot). We started teaching the family about 2 months ago. They were coming to church off and on… sometimes they wanted to get baptized and sometimes because of lots of little problems they would get sad and have second thoughts.  One day she just told us that on her way home she went by the river so that she would have a relaxing walk to just think about her life. When she was walking she began to think about baptism and she told us that she heard a voice in her head that said that she should get baptized. From that day onward she started to come to church. The trials became even harder when her feet became infected because of a small cut that she didn’t clean. It became hard for her to walk. The girls and her weren’t coming to church. We started visiting her every single day, sometimes more than once in the day, just to see how she was doing. We almost lost her when we started to talk about the word of wisdom. Graci and her girls all drink coffee - which is just killing them. She didn’t want to put her addiction to bed but we convinced her with the help of one of her best friends that is a member of the church. This last Saturday the whole family got baptized. They almost didn’t show up because her feet were swollen again, but she made it. Her little girls were so excited to get baptized while we were waiting for the mom to get baptized we all began to laugh when the littlest girl (Cindy) let out a little a gas. It was really good because it let out a ton of nervous tension.

What a fantastic experience! I love the feeling of helping families get baptized.

Don’t worry Dad… I know that I have always been a 90%-er but this time I am going for the 110%. I am going to pass my goal and I have a hunger for more. We have a few new families that we are preparing right now that I think are going to get baptized this month of May.  All is well in Zion.
About the Elder Emett thing. Well I would love to go to Saint George and visit his family. Elder Emett and I have been talking about it a lot and we want to have the opportunity to have our families meet. I like the Idea a ton.

About the packages…I will be receiving the first package this week because I am going to go to Lima again. So don’t worry I made a few phone calls and it is there in the offices I will be personally going to pick it up.

So are you in the same apartment as you were last time?
 Yes I am still there in the same apartment. 
 Or is it different?
 Well, we changed the lay out but not the house. 
How is it different?
 Just the layout.
How are your sheets and stuff holding up?
 In this I have no problems at all…. I have great sheets.
Do you still have contacts?
Yes, I have just enough for the last few months of my mission… if you want to send me a package that would be nice just in case of emergency .
Can you get solution for contacts there?
Yes, but it is really expensive, just one bottle more would get me to the end.
Eaten anything out of the ordinary lately? 
Not really because I think I am just used to eating whatever they give me. I did however eat Piranha the other day. It is really tasty I like it a lot.
Do you still go to member's houses for lunch?
Yes, it will be like this for the whole mission. I like it because it is my chance to try new things. 
What have they been feeding you?
Well the same old rice and beans and lots of fried banana.  I like fried banana.

I love you guys a ton. I miss all of you a ton.
Elder Harris