Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bonfires and Fireworks!

Hey everyone!  So this week has been pretty good.  We have once again been pretty busy getting ready for transfers next week but I´m getting better at organizing everything that I have to do so it´s been better.  We haven´t been able to leave to work a whole lot this week which is the thing that I dislike the most about the office.  We have been working on finding new people to teach.  But it´s been really hard this week because of a holiday here called São João.  It was on Tuesday but the celebration lasted pretty much all week.  It was really cool I´m not gonna lie.  Everybody here was lighting off fireworks.  Like the cool ones because there are no restrictions here.  Maybe there are but I don´t think they do anything about it.  And almost everybody lights bonfires in the streets here to celebrate.  Like every street you could look down and just see bonfires lining the streets.  Like I said I thought it was really cool.  I was super bummed because I left my camera home so I tried to take some pictures with my cell phone that I use here but they didn´t turn out too well.  I´ll still send a few of them.  But it was still really cool!  There were constant fireworks going off all night, like you could hardly distinguish one from the other, they were just continuous.  The bad part was the smoke.  There was so much smoke from all of the bonfires and fireworks it made it pretty hard to breathe.  Elder Durê has really bad allergies too and he wasn´t doing too good so we had to go home early that night.  But even in our house we don´t have glass windows.  We just have wooden shutter things that close just enough to block the light and rain but not the air.  There was so much smoke.  It was like when you´re at a campfire and the smoke keeps blowing in your face so you get up and move to another spot but you´re just so beautiful that it still follows you.  Maybe that´s just a problem that I have ;) But yeah it was like that.  No matter where you went you couldn´t get away from it.  The city looked like it had just been bombed or something.  But like I said, I thought it was awesome haha.  I was walking around snappin’ pics left and right haha. 

So as for the actual missionary part of my life.  We´ve been teaching a girl named R.  She´s about 16 and we met her last week.  She´s really great.  We´ve been teaching her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and she has been progressing really well.  The only problem is she has some problems at home and her parents don´t like us and they don´t want her to have anything to do with us.  But we´re going to keep working with them all and see what happens.  We got a new companion who will be staying with us until the transfers next week.  His name is Elder Concha from Peru.  He´s way cool, I like him a lot!  But that pretty much sums it up for this week.  I hope you have a great week!  I love you all!  A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Pics 1,2,3 - A bunch of fires from Tuesday

Pic 4 - Brasil and Paraguay have a big soccer game today and Elder Durê is half Brazilian half Paraguayan so we´re reppin’ Paraguay haha

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Kinds of Things I Do Here in the Office

Well everyone, I feel the need to apologize in advance for the lame letter this is going to be. But like literally nothing happened this week. We´ve been working a ton in the office (I hate paperwork... especially baptismal forms..... baptismal forms are the worst) and a little bit in the streets too. But for the most part we´ve been in the office. We didn´t even get to eat lunch yesterday! I think it was like the second day of my mission that I went without beans and rice. The struggle is real here. I guess I can just waste time and fill up space telling you guys about the kinds of things I do here in the office. So we pretty much live here. Our house is across the street but the only things we do there is take showers and sleep. The rest is all here in the office. We´ve got our own nifty little kitchen in the back with bathrooms. I mean the bathrooms aren´t in the kitchen... that would be awkward but you get the idea. I pretty much spend my days typing information from baptismal forms into the church system and worrying about not letting the Visas expire for the foreigners. Plus doing all the busy work that presidents asks me to do. I´ve gotta buy all of the flight tickets for the missionaries going and some that are coming. That pretty much sums it up. Anyways, we´ve got a few investigators that we´re working with but they aren´t necessarily progressing very well. So we´re going to start working harder to find new people to teach. So yesterday, we were chilling here in the office when all of a sudden President walked in with Elder Marcos A. Aidutaitis from the 70. It kinda caught us off guard but luckily we weren´t in the middle of a nerf war or anything like that haha. So anyways we talked to him for like a minute and that was about it but it was still pretty cool. We were planning on doing some cool things with the stake president here today for pday but we got a call and had to deal with some problems here so it didn´t work out which is super obnoxious but oh well. And that pretty much sums it up for this week. I hope you guys have a great week and a great summer! A igreja é Verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Pics - What the average pday in the office consists of.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I think it's winter here...not sure but that's what they say!

Hey everyone!  Sounds like summer has started and everything is going good for you guys!  I think it´s winter here... not sure but
that´s what they say haha.  So this week was pretty great.  So to start off the week on Saturday I got super sick.  I´m not sure what it was but I was super dizzy and throwing up and it just wasn´t good.  So Sunday morning came around and I was still sick.  I talked to Sister Soares and she invited us to lunch with her and President.  So after church I was feeling a little better and President picked us up and took us to his house which is always awesome.  We just ate and talked and enjoyed the view.  I know I´ve already said this but one of my favorite things about the office is getting to know them better.  Anyways it was a good day. 
             So we had an emergency transfer this week which wasn´t too bad but it was pretty unorganized.  We had a new American who came this week and he stayed with us for a day before going to his area.  He was pretty cool.  So we were making some street contacts that night when we got a call from a missionary at the bus station saying that the people there wouldn´t let him get on the bus because he didn´t have proper documentation so anyways, we busted it back to the office and I grabbed all the papers I needed and luckily president was there to give us a ride to the bus station.  We told him we were in a hurry and apparently he got the idea.  Literally one of the craziest rides I´ve been on in my life.  I´ve already mentioned how crazy the drivers are here in Brazil but this took it to another level!  Pres. was bustin it!  All this while the new American was sitting in the back seat with the most terrified expression on his face that I´ve ever seen!  I couldn´t help but laugh.  We were all just like, Welcome to Brasil haha.  I used to not like taking taxis here because they´re so insane but now I just get into it.  I´m in the back seat cheering them on like GO GO GO!!!   Haha anyways we made it to the bus station at the last minute and I gave the guy the proper documentation.  The guy was super awnry [mother's spell check:  ornery] (Not sure how to spell that) But it all worked out, I politely chewed the guy out for being so obnoxious and, we were on our way haha. 
              So Thursday was legit.  There is this 15 year old kid named M. that the sisters have been teaching for a while now and has been coming to church for about two months now.  One of the best kids I´ve ever met.  The sisters have tried to baptize him a couple times but it has never worked out.  So they were gonna give up on him.  But like I said this kid is elect.  I don´t want to say that I got a little annoyed with the sisters but yeah, I got a little annoyed with the sisters because they were extremely mole as they call it here.  In other words they didn´t try very hard with him.  His parents are hardcore Catholics so the sisters thought they wouldn´t let him be baptized so they didn´t try.  Anyways my comp and I set up and appointment with them and we had a good lesson and the parents opened up to us enough that they gave permission for M. to be baptized.  So I asked him when he wanted to have his baptism like Saturday or Sunday and he was like.  Is there still time to have it today?  I was like heck ya!  And then he gave me a huge hug and he was super happy.  We called the bishop and got everything worked out and him and one other 12 year old named G. were baptized that night.  Super cool experience.  One of my favorite things about being here on the mission is being able to witness these kinds of miracles happening all the time. 
             That just about sums it up for this week.  I love you all and hope you all have a great week!  A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Pics - President´s house

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Miracle Happened!

  Hey everyone!  So this week was pretty good.  I´m definitely glad it´s over because it was super stressful!  So some pretty crazy stuff happened on Sunday.  If I remember right I think I said we probably wouldn´t have a baptism this week unless a miracle happened.  Well a miracle happened and we baptized 4 young men!  K., P., M., and J.  Crazy stuff haha.  The sisters had a baptism too which I was able to baptize.  It was awesome!  Our mission had 246 baptisms in the month of may which is the Mission record.  Man I don´t think I´ve ever seen President so happy!  He busted into the office on Monday and the first thing he said was "BATISMO!!!!!!!!!!!"  Haha it was really funny. 
           So Monday was super stressful.  We were busy getting everything ready for the monthly leadership counsel which I have to give training at.  So Monday was spent working my tail off trying to get everything done that president asked and all of the other stuff.  I was relieved when it was over.  The Tuesday came and so did the counsel.  It was yet another long and stressful day.  But everything went well including my training.  The rest of the week has been really slow, which has been a welcome change after being super stressed out and busy for the past three weeks!  Wednesday we had a fun ward activity/surprise birthday party for the bishop here.  We watched Ephraim´s Rescue which I thought was awesome.  The rest of the people didn´t because it was in English with Portuguese subtitles.  But hey, I was fine with it ;)  Sorry I´m really short on time so I´ve gotta keep this short but it´s ok because that was about all that happened this week.  I love you all!  I hope you have a great week!  A Igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Pictures - Showing my unreal hops