Saturday, July 25, 2015

I'm just too skinny these days!

Hey everyone! Sounds like everyone is still having a blast this summer... even without me haha ;) So this week was really good! Last Saturday for pday we went with the stake president, President M. to the Parque das dunas again haha, it was a blast. President M. is literally one of the greatest men to walk the face of this earth. I seriously love him so much. But anyways, we had fun there until we were coming home and he asked me to give a talk in church the next day haha. But at least he gave me the night before to prepare so I can´t complain too much. Plus he told me to talk on O Livro de Mórmon so it was a pretty easy subject. Anyways, I spoke and I think it went really well. I pretty much just quoted half of Elder Holland´s talk on the Book of Mormon. If you haven´t seen it go watch it. Even if you have seen it, go watch it again. It´s one of the best talks I´ve ever heard. Anyway, people have been telling me all week that it´s been a while since they´ve heard a talk that good. So I guess that´s a good thing haha.
Monday we left to do some teaching and our appointments were dropping like flies. We had 5 appointments in a row fall through. And they all just happened to live forever away from eachother so by the time we got to the last one we just had enough time to walk home so that was an unsuccessful day. Tuesday there was an American missionary in the office when a huge package just happened to show up for him. I´m pretty sure this missionary is going straight to the celestial kingdom because he immediately opened it up and started giving all these American snacks to us. 
I´ve never been so happy to eat cool ranch Doritos haha. So Wednesday happened.... haha we had a ward activity which was fun but the best (and worst) part was after. My comp has a rugby ball because he used to play so I went with all the young men to play for a bit. It just turned in to all the young men chasing me because I had the ball. I was working these kids, juking left and right, hurdling all sorts of things, it was freaking legit. Until I got to the parking lot, which just happens to be made out of jagged bricks. I had 4 kids trying to catch me from behind so I was focused on them when all of a sudden this pretty stocky kid jumped out from behind a car where he was hiding and wrapped me up. I had my livro de mormon in one hand, the ball in the other and I was trying to hold on to all the things in my shirt pocket to keep them from falling out all at the sime time so I had no way to protect myself from this kid and he ended up tackling me onto the brick. I was kind of embarrassed that I let this punk take me down haha. I´m just too skinny these days haha. Anyways I ripped my pants pretty good and got some nice raspberries on my arms and knees haha. But it was still a blast. I didn´t realize how much I missed that stuff. haha it was some good stuff haha.
So we´ve been talking to R. a lot this week and she is still progressing really well. We just have to keep helping her out. On the other hand J. from last week who was doing so well hasn´t been progressing very well. I don´t know what´s going on with her but she doesn´t want to read anymore and she´s kind of becoming more closed off. But we´re gonna work like crazy with her this week to try and help her with whatever she needs. That pretty much sums up our week. I love you guys! Keep having a great week haha. A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris
At the little museum thing they have there

Some kids playing soccer

With Elder Durê

P-Day With President M

Parque das Dunas
It´s kinda cool, every once in a while you see these monkey
 lemur things running around the city on the telephone wires

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Lizards, Rain, and Testimony After Trial of Faith

Hey everyone! So this week was a good one. On Saturday I went on splits with an American from Arizona. Another small town kid who´s super redneck haha. Man he was so funny. It was fun to talk about the random stupid things we did for fun in a small town. But he was really fun to work with that night. He brought a bunch of hunting pictures and showed them to the investigators and recent converts and they were all like, "Oh my gosh, people actually do that??" It was really funny. Monday we were eating lunch at a member's house and my companion noticed something strange on top of some curtains that were hanging (A lot of people just use curtains inside their houses instead of doors for bedrooms and such) Anyways turns out it was a huge lizard haha. The curtains were brown so the lizard blended in so well. The girls all ran so it was up to me and my comp to get it out. We ended up chasing it outside which is a miracle because it was the fastest thing I´ve ever seen! But it all worked out in the end.
So it´s been raining like crazy here! The rain here is super weird and super obnoxious. So you´ll be walking down the street and as soon as you start feeling rain drops you need to look for cover quick. Then all of a sudden it starts to pour. It rains so hard! Then about 30-45 seconds later it stops and clears up again. It´s not too bad if you are able to find cover to wait out the 30 seconds but if you are in a place that doesn´t have cover, you´re out of luck. Because you get soaking wet for about 30 seconds then the suncomes out and you get all sweaty and muggy. It´s not a comfortable experience. But then you start to dry and right about the time you dry out. 30 more seconds of rain comes to soak you again. So that´s how the weather is here haha.
Yesterday was really good. We went on another division and I went with a missionary from Paraguay. We had a really good lesson with a family. One of the daughters is already baptized. They have a little girl who is 8 years old and another which is 4. But the mom isn´t baptized. The dad was baptized a long time ago but isn´t active at all. We´ve been working a lot with them. The mom has been visited by missionaries off and on for about 5 years now and has always accepted them but never wanted to accept baptism or the church. The big problem is that they aren´t married, they´ve just been together for about 14 years. I don´t know why they don´t want to get married but anyways, yesterday we were talking to her and we were reading in the Book of Mormon and the mom brought up the subject of baptism. She says she´s afraid to be baptized and then fall away because she knows how important it is but it´s really hard for her to make it to church. She told us that all the other missionaries always talked about baptism but there´s something different about us. We talked to her about how sometimes we have to sacrifice for the Lord. We just happened to be reading in Ether 12 which talks a lot about faith. So we read the verse that says you don´t receive a testimony until after the trial of your faith. I´m not sure how that´s exactly worded in the English version but that was a roughly translated version by me. But it helped her a lot. We marked a lesson with them tonight and we´re gonna talk about the importance of eternal families and it´s gonna be awesome, I already know it haha.
Last night we had the zone leaders sleeping at our house so this morning we went to the basketball court at the church and had a game of basketball. I have not yet had a companion who likes to play any sport besides soccer. So it was so good to play basketball! But anyways, that´s about it for this week. I love you all! Have a great week! A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I'm getting better at organizing everything!

So this week was.... well let´s just say it probably wasn´t as fun as it sounds like all of yours was. So Monday came around and president wasn´t super happy because the mission didn´t get a lot of baptisms last month. He loaded up me and my comp with a million things to do. Tuesday we had the monthly leadership training which is always super crazy to prepare for. But like I mentioned last week, I´m getting better at organizing everything so when the missionaries all got here Monday night I was able to go with them to get açai and have fun with them all. While we were at the açai place we played a game of monopoly deal which is the card game version of monopoly. Man that got intense! We had like 10 missionaries playing at a time. The first game wasn´t looking too good. My father in the mission (first companion) Elder Chagas was beating everybody but I turned it around right quick and whooped all of them! I might as well have just won the super bowl. Everyone was like OOOHHHHH!!!! And I was just raking in all of my fake monopoly money. Unfortunately I couldn´t pay for my açai with it cuz that stuffs not cheap. But anyways, In the actual leadership counsel on Tuesday I gave my training which went ok. I had to go with Elder Cragun (one of my companions in the CTM) to the post office to pick up some box for some missionary in his district and we talked for a while. It was good reminiscing on the good times. He is serving in my first area, Currais Novos, and apparently they´re having all sorts of problems with members. Idk all I know is it was good while I was there haha. Speaking of which, I talked to D. B. from Currais on the phone a couple weeks ago and he told me that one of his friends E., who was an investigator that we taught for awhile when I was there, got a new dog and named it Harris in remembrance of me. If that´s not the most awesomest thing you´ve ever heard I don´t know what is.

Haha but anyways, returning to my week. Wednesday I had to take 4 missionaries to the police station to renew their visas. I´m pretty sure that everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. It was a long day. I missed my zone meeting for the second time. Which is a bummer cuz I love going to the zone meetings and talking with all of the missionaries. Joys of being an office elder..... I honestly can´t think of a whole lot else that happened this week. It was pretty slow. Sorry, I don´t have any pictures for you either. But I love you all, have a great week! A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day, America!

Hey everyone! So this week was really crazy. Really good but really crazy! On Sunday we had lunch with the bishop´s family. They are so much fun, they´ve got all sorts of little kids running around which is really uncommon here but I felt right at home with all the noise. It still didn´t compare to a family activity with the Ebmeyers but it was close ;) Monday we had lunch with the first councilor of our ward named Roosevelt (pronounced whoosvil) and his family. They are seriously one of the greatest families I have ever met. I absolutely love them. Just throwing that in there. So Monday was spent getting ready for the transfers. We left Monday night to work and it was pouring rain and we didn´t have rain jackets or umbrellas or anything. My comp was wanting to go back to the office but I knew we probably wouldn´t be able to leave to work again for the rest of the week because that´s just how transfers go. So we kept going and we got soaked then a little wind picked up and it was legitimately the first time on my mission that I got pretty cold. It was really weird.

Haha so Tuesday came around and all of the new missionaries got here and we did our normal training with them then the highlight of every transfer came, dinner at president´s house. It was great as usual. We had a really spiritual testimony meeting afterwards and the staff (the assistants and the secretaries) were able to share our testimonies with the new missionaries, as well as being able to hear theirs. It was really spiritual.

Then Wednesday came and that´s when things got crazy. A new American´s flight got delayed so instead of showing up on Tuesday he came on Wednesday so we went to pick him up. All the missionaries that were going home came and stayed with us too like normal but this was one of the loudest and most obnoxious groups I have ever met. So we had to put up with them in our house and in the office for three days... three of the longest days of my life.

But we finally got them on the plane. The airline people just decided to change their flights last minute so I was running around like crazy trying to figure everything out and trying to contact the families to tell them what was going on so it was really stressful. but it all worked out.

Thursday I took the new missionary to the police station to get him registered and everything went well. Then I went teaching with him that night. We had some really good lessons the poor new missionary was completely lost and had no idea what anyone was saying. I felt kinda bad for him but he´ll get it eventually. One thing that I realized from working with him is that things here really are so much different from the US. Like it´s all stuff that I´ve gotten used to so I don´t really think too much of it but he was freaking out at like everything. For example a police car drove by with its lights on and he thought something huge must have happened but here it´s just normal. Another thing is that he was afraid to go into a market because there was a guy standing out front in army clothes with a huge machine gun. Like that´s just normal here. I don´t know why, it´s not like you´re gonna shoot someone for stealing an apple, but that´s just what they have here. Anyways, I´ll try to take more pictures of everyday things here that you guys might think is pretty cool.

Yesterday we had to clean the office because of the mess all of the missionaries made and me and my comp were pretty much dead. We weren´t able to go to lunch because of some stuff that came up so the sisters went and got us something to eat. We went to meet them about a block away to get the food and it was a little rainy and as the icing on the cake a semi decides to drive by and nail a puddle that was in the road which sprayed mud and water all over me and Elder Durê. We were not too impressed. But after all is said and done, I still feel like this week was a good one and a successful one. We are still working with R. and with another girl and they should be baptized here in about a week or two so we´re pretty excited. They are progressing really well!

So this morning me and Elder Z. Clark the assistant decided to make a conference call with every single American missionary in the mission for the 4th of July. Because the staff are the only people in the mission that have cell phones with every number in the mission, we had to call them all and it was super complicated but we got it worked out and I turned on the National Anthem for everyone to hear. It was historical. I hope you guys have a great 4th of July and I also hope you realize that you truly do live in the best country in the world. I´ve been blessed incredibly to have been raised in the United States, and I am absolutely proud to be an American. I´m also proud to be a missionary and there is no where else that I would rather be right now than here serving. I love you all, have a great week. A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Pics 1-3 -  President´s house
Pic 4 - 246!