Monday, March 30, 2015

My heart rate goes up just thinking about General Conference!

 Alright so first off.  I have to be super fast this week so I´ll apologize now but it sounds like you all had a great week this week!  Tagg congrats on the pinewood derby!  Also congrats to Brent and Courtney on the new baby!  So this week was good.  We had a Zone Conference this week with all the missionaries in the City of Natal so it was about half of the missionaries in the mission.  It was really good.  We learned a ton.  I saw the beach for the first time this week too haha.  6 months within 20 minutes of the beach and I just barely saw it haha.  But anyways I think I´m really getting into the whole missionary thing because I have never been this excited for General Conference in my whole life!  I´m so excited!  Like I think about it and my heart rate goes up.  I used to just be excited for Conference because it meant I could stay home from church and I didn´t have to put on church clothes haha.  But I can´t wait!  Even though I won´t be there live with the family, I´ll look for you guys!  I´ve gotta go now!  I love you all!  Have a great week!  A igreja é verdadeiro!
Elder Harris

Monday, March 23, 2015

Shooting and Wars...Missionary Style!

Alright so I had a pretty good week this week.  Not a whole lot happened this week so I´ll keep it short.  I started out with an interview with President Soares.  It went really good, I always learn a ton from him.  Anyways we were eating lunch at our house and I was out on our balcony which is 4 stories up and this kid on the street with a broomstick started "Shooting" me with it.  It was funny, I started shooting him back with a broomstick and before long we got all the elders and like 5 kids on the street having a war with us from our balcony haha.  It was just a bunch of people yelling BANG BANG!  Haha the adults on the street had no Idea what was going on but it was hilarious.  It went on for like a half hour before we figured we´d better leave to go work haha.  But it was way fun. 
          Anyways so the bummer of this week was me and my comp decided to go visit D. and C.  So we got there and knocked on the door and there was like an echo (All houses here are made of concrete)  So we were like well that´s weird.  So we asked some neighbors and they were like oh yeah they moved this afternoon.  We were like What??  Are you kidding me?  Nobody knows where they went to and we´ve called them about 1,000 times and nobody has answered.  It was so frustrating. 
          We were walking by this big Universal Church.  It´s a really popular church around here and we could just hear yelling and screaming.  So we went to the front of the building and the front part is really big and open so you can see in and there were all sorts of people screaming and grabbing their head and church leaders grabbing peoples hair and yelling in their ears.  People were falling on the floors and all that.  It turned out they were trying to get the demons out of people.  Yeah it was some pretty messed up stuff.  It´s so sad to think that people are so lost yet they don´t want the truth.  People from the Universal church are definitely some of the most heard hearted people here.  Yeah it was weird.
             Anyways turns out winter is just starting here.  I had no idea until somebody told me.  It just means that it rains a little more which is good and bad.  Good because it keeps it a little cooler and bad because you´re soaking wet and if you wear a jacked you get too hot and get soaked with sweat, so it´s just a bad situation.  But I did try to justify wearing a sweater with my companion on an overcast day.  That was a bad idea.  Man I got so hot!  Everyone here was walking around with sweaters and jackets and I was still dying of heat!  So I took it back home and left it there.  Anyways, sorry for the lame letter but that was about all that happened this week.  I love you all, I hope you have a great week!  A igreja é verdadeiro! 

Elder Harris

Trying to wear a sweater this "winter"

War Pic #1

War Pic #2

Testing out his rain jacket!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hit the Big 6 Months!

          Hey everyone!  I hope all of your guys´ week was as good as mine!  We had an awesome week.  On Monday night we went to a member's house for a family night and they threw a big surprise birthday party for me and Elder Church who turned 19 a couple days before me.  They brought out a big cake and started singing happy birthday (Not as well as the Ebmeyers but it was still cool) ;)  Haha the lady had written little notes to each of us which was super sweet.  My name is Elder Harry but oh well haha.  Almost everyone here calls me Elder Harry Potter so people just assume my name is Harry, it´s kinda funny.  Anyways that was about it for that.  So this week my comp went on splits in another area so I was senior companion with Elder Shakespear from Utah.  I might have written about him before.  I lived with him when I was in Panatis.  He´s a really funny kid.  He has a super thick American accent so when he talks the people think it´s hilarious.  So yeah, We had 4 Americans in the house this week.  It was awesome!  We didn´t have to speak one word of Portuguese while we were in the house which was a first.  Elder Shakespear's parents had sent him some Kraft Mac n´ cheese so we cooked that up and it was so bomb!  It´s been so long since I´ve had that!
          So we were going to an investigator's house, Anaildi.  I´m not sure if I´ve told you guys about her yet.  She´s a lady in her mid 50´s or so and she has this problem with her leg where it just starts bleeding randomly but she doesn´t feel it.  She told us that once but we didn´t think too much of it.  Well anyways, me and Shakespear were going there and we got there and her husband was outside so he opened and invited us into the gate and we went up to the front door which was opened and there was blood all over the floor.  Like I´m talking a ton of blood!  One of her neighbors was there cleaning it up and by that time they had got the bleeding stopped.  I remembered her telling us about it so I wasn´t overly concerned I just asked if we could help with anything but Shakespear was freaked out!  He didn´t know what to think.  A. was sitting in a chair as calm as can be and was like Hey!  I´ve been waiting for you guys to come!  Come in grab yourself something to eat, I´m excited to hear the word of God haha.  She was so nonchalant.  But anyways it was kinda funny. 
          The next day was pretty intense we were walking down the street and we were getting pretty close to an intersection when we heard this loud bang and scratching noises that sounded like a car accident.  The next thing you know, we see a guy sliding on the street with his motorbike on top of him.  I was so shocked at first then I realized what happened, dropped my books, and ran to go help him.  I lifted the bike off of him and by that time there were quite a few people there.  The guy was pretty scratched up and I´m pretty sure he broke his leg but he was lucky.  he was wearing a helmet too which was good.  We waited until the ambulance came and then we left.  It was crazy.  
           So anyways, back to the church stuff.  We taught D. and his girlfriend a few times this week and they were still loving it!  C. (his girlfriend)  read the first 15 chapters of the Book of Mormon and all the introductions and stuff at the beginning and was super excited about it!  She gave us the run down on everything she had read so far.  She especially loved the Testimony of Joseph Smith.  She was telling us that story in detail with dates and everything!  I was like, man if only everyone were to get that excited about the Book of Mormon.  They were really excited to come to church this Sunday and reminded us all throughout the week to not forget to come to their house to pick them up for church.  But unfortunately D.'s mom got sick so they left at 4 in the morning to go help her.  So they weren´t able to go to church but they´re still doing awesome.  
              Sunday morning was tough.  We have to pass by the houses of all of our investigators house to take them to church because almost nobody has cars here. (We have about 20 investigators right now)  We walked to every one of their houses and were not able to get one person to church with us.  It was such a bummer.  But it was all good.  That was about all for this week.  I love you all!  Have a great week!  A igreja é verdadeira!
Elder Harris
Devin's birthday cake made by some members there!  It's huge!

Kraft Mac 'n Cheese with the Americans...who knew it would bring such bliss?!

Thanks to Talon, it looks like he might just cry over this box of Waffle Crisp!  You are so good to him Talon!

Monday, March 9, 2015

We can help you with that!

So this week was a long and a really tough week, but I learned a lot and my testimony has been strengthened.  So to start the week out I´ve had an ingrown toenail that freaking kills but I don´t like hospitals and I´m not sure how much I trust the hospitals here so I tried to do a little surgery on myself which just ended up being really painful haha.  I wouldn´t recommend it to anyone haha.  But anyways I toughed it out all week which is not fun walking 30,000 miles per day.  So we have this investigator who lives forever away and it was about 7:30 and we needed to get to her house quickly so that we could get home on time so the only way was to take a bus.  There is one bus that goes by her house and my comp was positive that it was 74.  So we waited forever until 74 showed up.  We got on and were feeling pretty good when we realized we were on the wrong bus taking us farther away from the investigator´s house and our house.  So we hurried up and got off and by that time it was about 8:15 so we had to cancel our appointment with her and we used the last hour and a bit to walk all the way home because it was too late for the busses here.  They stop working at 8, don´t ask me why.  So yeah we were doing some contacts on the way home and met a man who was Jehovah’s witness.  Man this fool chewed us out for everything we tried to say.  My comp loves to bible bash so they just went at it for like a solid 20 minutes before I finally pulled my comp away.  The next few days followed as suit.  They were all really tough, long, and I´ve never been yelled at or had my beliefs laughed at more than I have this week.  We were pretty discouraged this week until Sunday.  That´s when things started to turn around.  I went on a division with Elder Wilson Sunday morning to go pick up investigators to take to church.  We were doing some contacting and knocking on doors (Clapping outside the gates) because we had a little time to kill so we decided to clap at the houses and ask for a Pablo just to break the ice a little bit haha.  That was going really well until we clapped at a door and asked for Pablo and a 35 year old man named Pablo showed up.  That was super awkward haha.  We had to think fast to dig ourselves out of that situation.  We were both American so we were trying so hard to make up a story in Portuguese haha.  But it was all good he was really cool.  Sunday afternoon was even better, we had some good lessons and it was all going pretty normally until we remembered a guy we made a contact with almost a month ago who we had both forgotten about.  We just had a strong feeling to go there.  We got there and D. (That´s his name) was like man, I thought you guys forgot about me!  I wanted to go to church but I forgot what time it was at and I never saw you guys again!  We talked to his girlfriend too and shared the restoration with them.  He started to tear up at the first vision and said he was feeling straight up peace and joy at that moment.  It was really cool, he was asking what he would have to do to join the church and we were like, We can help you with that haha.  The only problem is he lives with his girlfriend and his son but they aren´t married so we´ve got to get them married first.  But yeah, really cool stuff.  It makes all the bad stuff and the hard stuff about mission life worth it when you have those kinds of experiences.  Anyways, that was about it for this week.  I love you all, Have a great week!  A Igreja é verdadeiro!

Elder Harris
Elder Wilson and I talking to some kids (Matching Jackets;)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Grossest thing he's eaten so far...

So this week was definitely a good one.  Man I can´t believe that Colton is home!  It seems like the mission is forever long but seeing the pictures of him back home it seems like he never left!  Heck it almost seems like I never even left and I´m working on 6 months already!  But anyways, this week was awesome.
         So we were walking down the street the other day and all of a sudden some guy pulls up to us in his car and starts yelling all of these english swear words at me for being american.  He had a very colorful vocabulary.  It´s funny these people here can´t speak one bit of english but they all know the swear words.  I swear, if they would put half the effort that they put into learning the swear words into learning actual english, they´d be fluent in no time!  But they prefer to curse instead.  
         So a couple days ago we were studying and we got a call from the president's wife and she said she´d be stopping by to take a look at the house and to grab an extra box frame that we had.  Man You´ve never seen 4 missionaries clean a house so fast in your life haha.  About 4 minutes in we had it looking spotless.  Floors mopped and everything haha.  I just thought that was kinda funny.
           So friday night me and my comp got home at 9 o´clock which is a miracle because we almost always stay out until 9:30 teaching or contacting or doing something.  But anyways, we were exhausted and we got home and started to plan when we realized we never got a signature from the mom of the teenager we were going to baptize the next day.  So we ended up having to sprint to their house which is freaking forever and a day away just to get the signature and then sprinting back to make it home by 9:30.  Now if any of you have ever sprinted for a half hour straight you know, what I´m tlaking about here.  I was so exhausted!  I about passed out.  In fact I´m not 100% sure that I didn´t pass out while I was running, who knows, all I know is that it was tiring but we did end up getting the signature and we baptized him on saturday.
            So Saturday was my birthday and the only thing we did was baptize.  Haha what could be better than that? ;)  We baptized a 17 year old named F.  We´ve been teaching him since I´ve been here and his younger brother is a member so he´s been trying to help him out a ton.  Anyways he finally got an answer about the book of mormon and accepted baptism.  We had a really good baptism and his brother shared the message and it was super spiritual.  It was incredible to see the joy that the younger brother got from his older brother being baptized.  I can´t imagine what it would be like to be an only member with a family who wont accept the gospel.  But anyways that was really good.  
             So I officially ate the grossest thing since I´ve been on the mission this week.  Of all the chicken feet and heart and bat and little bird thingies that I´ve eaten the worst food of all is spaghetti noodles with straight ketchup.  I´m for real, I can´t even handle that.  It´s a thing that´s pretty popular here but I just tried it for the first time on thursday.  I could hardly keep it down, I was begging for the chicken feet haha.  It was not good.  So if you guys have spaghetti noodles and ketchup and are thinking about experimenting with them, Don´t do it.  Just don´t.
             I guess another pretty stupid story for you guys (Sorry I don´t have any really cool stories but I´m just trying to fill you in on our every day life here haha) would be on wednesday we were walking down the street and we bought some creamsicle things cuz we were dying of heat and I accidentally dropped mine on the ground and it got sand all over it.  The average person would have given up at that point but not me.  I needed that Ice cream almost as much as these people need the gospel.  So I saw some people sitting outside their gate so I asked them to wash off my ice cream for me so I could continue enjoying it.  They looked at me like I was an idiot but i didn´t care.  The heart wants what the heart wants,  So they invited us in cuz it was like 105 that day.  And we started talking to them, turns out they are really great!  They were super interested so we´re gonna continue teaching them.  They don´t live in our area so we passed the reference to the other missionaries that live with us.  The Lord works in mysterious ways haha.
           That was about it for this week, I love you all!  Have a great week!  Welcome Home Colton, I´ll continue your work for you out here ;)  A igreja é verdadeiro!

Elder Harris
(Notice the absence of the "II")