Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stuck somewhere in the middle of two languages!

So this week was alright.  Really really slow though.  We have just been working in the office and not too much else.  I went back to the hospital a couple of days ago to get the liquid sucked out of my knee again and as of right now it´s empty so so far so good haha.  This time the doctor told me I had to stay off it for a few days so for the last 3 days I've had to stay in the office all day which has been super lame!  It´s so frustrating because my knee doesn´t even hurt!  He just said to make sure and not take any chances because if the water keeps coming back eventually he will have to do a simple surgery but those are super super slim chances.  But like I said so far so good.  I think the doctor just didn´t drain it all the last time.  But I can start to work again here in a little bit so I´m pretty excited.  We got to go to McDonald´s twice this week!  First time in over 7 months that I´ve been to McDonald´s!  It was so good!  The first time I went with just the three office missionaries and the next day President and Sister Soares took us again.  Man it was good.  But like I said, it was pretty expensive.  It was worth it though ;)  So I´m pretty much forgetting my English.  I had to call some bank guy in the states to talk about some things for the financial secretary but he doesn´t speak English so I had to talk to him.  I could not speak English to save my life!  I was trying so hard but I kept saying Portuguese words and then I would panic and try to apologize but it would come out in Portuguese too!  The guy thought it was pretty funny but I was struggling.  I still don´t think I speak Portuguese all that well either so I´m kinda just stuck somewhere in the middle of the two languages.  But yeah, That was literally about it for this week.  Sorry for the lame email but it was a lame week.  I love you all!  Have a great week!  A igreje é verdadeira!  

Elder Harris

Here is a little more from an email Devin sent answering some of his dad's questions...

1. Elder Durê, the short elder (the elder in the middle of the picture below) is the Financial secretary and he is my legit companion but the other one, Elder Cancino, is my trainer, the old executive secretary, He´ll be here for another week or so then he´ll leave and it will be me and Elder Durê.
2.  Yes there are AP´s and we usually work pretty closely with them.  They come in every Sunday and Monday to do their things here in the office.  
3./4. We work everyday in the office until about 4 or 5 and then we finish out the day proselyting.
5.  My main jobs are to deal with all of the passports and visas of the missionaries.  Make sure they´re all legal here and renew them when I have to.  take new missionaries to the police station to get them registered.  I´m in charge of supplies for the whole mission.  I have to do everything with entering information on every single one of the baptism forms from the mission into the computer to make sure the church system has them.  I am in charge of buying flight tickets for missionaries who go home.  I am in charge of the mail.  I´m here to do whatever president asks as well and to deal with whatever problems missionaries have.  Also I have to talk with a lot of people from the states because I´m the only one who speaks English well here.  There´s other things, but those are the main ones.
6. By, on my own, I mean my trainer will leave and I will be here to deal with all of the things to do with executive secretary alone.  I will stay with the Financial secretary.
7.  As of right now I live with the other two office elders and when my trainer leaves it will just be me and my comp.  We live across the street from the office.

Elders Cancino, Dure, and Harris


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Surprise! Saturday is my new PDay!

So first off let me answer all of your guys´ question right now.  Why is Elder Harris emailing on a Saturday?  Yeah, I know it was what you were all thinking.  So for the next 6 months while I am in the office my Pdays will be on Saturdays.  I won´t have Pdays on Mondays for a while.  Bem, então my week was so crazy!  I got to the office at one of the busiest times!  Right in the middle of transfers.  We had to worry about all of the new missionaries coming in and all of the old missionaries leaving.  It was way busy.  We got to go to the airport on Tuesday to pick up a new sister who just arrived straight from the states.  It brought back all of the memories from when I had just barely arrived and was completely lost not being able to understand anything.  But it´s all good because everyone goes through it.  So as I said in my last letter.  Being in the office can be pretty boring sometimes but there are a ton of perks!  We get to eat dinner every transfer at president´s house with the newbies.  I don´t know if you guys remember from way back when I sent that picture 15 stories up right on the beach where we had that super elegant dinner.  But yeah, I get that every transfer now.  Plus now instead of walking everywhere we can just call taxis.  In other words I´m getting ready to put on 25 pounds in the first few transfers here ;)  Oh and our area here is the only area in all of our mission that has a McDonald's!  I haven´t been there yet but man I´m excited.  The only downer is they say it´s really expensive here. 

          But anyways, after we got all of the new missionaries taken care of, all of the old missionaries who were leaving showed up.  They stayed for about three days here doing nothing except messing around and making a mess of the office and of our house because they had to stay with us.  We had 13 missionaries sleeping in our house.  It was ridiculous.  We spent all of this morning cleaning.  So anyways.  We have been teaching a girl named M. since I got here and she is progressing really well.  We also should have a baptism tomorrow of a 13 year old kid named I.  I don´t really know him really well yet but I talked to him for a bit yesterday and he seemed really cool.  M. should also be being baptized here in a week or two.  My new companion, Elder Durê and my trainer Elder Cancino are awesome.  I lied in my last letter, I´ll have three weeks of training and then I´m on my own.  Durê is from southern Brazil and Cancino is from Chile.  But that is about it for this week.  I got the ward´s letter from your 7 days of service and it sounds like it went really well!  Thanks to all of the youth who wrote to me!  I loved reading all of your letters!   Oh that reminds me, one of my responsibilities is the mail now.  So I don´t have to wait until the first of every month anymore.  I´ll get it as soon as it arrives haha.  (I think he wants us to send real mail...not just emailsJ )Thanks for all of your guys´ support!  I love you all!  Have a great week!  A igreja é verdadeiro!

Elder Harris

Pic 1 - View from president´s house again
Pic 2 - The office missionaries!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fluid on the knee and Mission Executive Secretary

So this week was a good one.  It started off by me having to go to the hospital because I had some weird liquid in my knee.  I showed Sister Soares last Monday and she immediately marked an appointment for me.  Haha don´t worry it´s no big deal because it is on the outter part of the knee.  The doctor said if it was on the inside of the actual knee then it would be more serious but all they had to do was stick a big needle in my knee and suck the juice out.  He said it happened because I hit my knee somewhere or something like that.  I don´t remember so I´m pretty determined it´s just from praying too much ;)  Brownie points from the Man upstairs ;)  Anyways so I got there and I saw the doctor for the first time and noticed that he had a mustache, so immediately I put all of my trust in him because as we all know, mustaches mean wisdom and knowledge...  Anyways he sucked the juice out and then put a ridiculous amount of bandaging on my knee.  My knee was numb so I didn´t feel anything for like the next three hours.  The next day I took the bandaging off and there was still liquid stuff in my knee!  Either I was really misguided by this doctor's mustache and thought he was really good at his job but turned out that he´s not or my knee started filling up again.  Anyways, to make a long story short I have to go back to get it redrained again this week.  But like I said don´t worry it´s no big deal.  It doesn´t hurt at all.  To be honest I kinda like it.  It´s fun to poke.  It gives me something to do when I´m bored haha.  
           Anyways, on to the big news.  Transfers are tomorrow but I recieved a phone call from President Soares yesterday that said I was being called as the new executive secretary of the mission.  So I packed up my bags last night and got to the mission office this morning.  So that pretty much means I´m on a computer for like half the day.  That might sound pretty good but there is SO MUCH stuff to do!  Especially because this week is transfers.  I have a trainer for today and tomorrow but after that I´m on my own.  I´m super nervous but excited, it should be good.  So that means I´ll be staying here for the next 7 months.  Haha I guess we´ll see how it goes.  I´m just stoked because I get air conditioning!  Plus I get to spend a bunch of time with President and Sister Soares.  I love being around them, I always learn a ton and we get treated so well haha.  When I was going to the hospital with Sister Soares last week she was talking about all of the street contacting we do.  It was cool because usually street contacting isn´t all that excited but we have to do at least 20 per day.  She was talking about how for most of the people we talk to, it is the first time in their lives they have ever come face to face with somebody is actually called of God and holds the true Priesthood.  It´s cool because we don´t always remember that kind of authority we hold.  It puts things into perspective for me.  Anyways, that was about all that happened this week.  I love you all!  Have a great week!  A igreja é verdadeiro!

Elder Devin Harris

Two others who I entered the MTC with at Zone Conference


Some street football


Some random street

The doctor doing his thing!


Monday, April 6, 2015

I can almost literally feel my tongue being "loosed".

How is everyone??  This week was awesome!  I loved conference!  I was so bummed when it was over.  There is nothing better than conference on the mission.  It´s such a spiritual boost to help you keep going in the work.  I loved seeing all of the pictures of the family there!  I´m pretty jealous, not gonna lie ;)  The chapel where we watched it is about an hours walk from hour house so that was really tough to try to bring investigators but we got two to come with us on Ssaturday and they seemed to really like it!  All of the American missionaries had our own little room to watch it in english which was awesome!  I would have liked to listen to the one talk that was given in Portuguese in Portuguese but it was translated for us too.  Ulisses Soares, the one who spoke, is actually my mission president´s cousin so that was pretty cool.  Anyways, I loved all of the talks!   Especially Elder Ballard´s in the priesthood session haha ;)  So I ran into P., the 15 year old, now 16 year old, that we baptized in Panatis at the conference.  He was so good!  He got the priesthood and was getting ready to bless the sacrament next  Sunday!  He says all he is missing now is the missionary name tag.  It was so cool to talk to him and see how good he is doing.  He was taking me around introducing me to all of his friends and was like "this is the one who taught me!"  It was such an awesome experience!  
          So in between the conference on Saturday I brought the football you guys sent to me and we were playing with it in the parking lot.  Haha man, Brazilians are not known for their American football skills haha.  Usually we always see them play soccer and they're so good at it that it makes the Americans look bad but it was nice to see them a litte discooridinated (Devin is creating new words...I think he meant uncoordinated) for a change haha.  We actually had a Zone pday today which is why I´m emailing a little late today but it was a blast.  We got a big game of football going on a huge sand field.  (It´s almost impossible to find grass here)  It was so hot though!  Everybody almost died!  I´m not even a hundred percent sure that I didn´t die.  But when you get 20 missionaries together they don´t really care, they just go all out haha.  I wish I would have brought my camera to send pictures but I left it in the house so it´s gonna have to wait another week...  Sorry, my bad.  I know it´s been awhile since I´ve sent pictures but I still look the same I promise ;)  So I just wanted to throw this in here.  Everybody has heard the scriptures that talk about like your tongue being loosed with the help of the Holy Ghost and stuff like that right?  Well I totally testify of that.  When I´m talking to someone on the street I can usually get across what I want to say pretty well but when I am in a good lesson and am teaching with the spirit I can almost literally feel my tongue being loosed.  Everything just comes so easily and it´s not very hard to pronounce the words either which is something that almost every American has problems with.  I´ve come to find out that your tongue being loosed is such a literal phrase.  It´s so awesome!  Anyways just throwing that in there haha.  I love you all, Have a great week!  A Igreja é verdadeiro!

Elder Devin Harris