Monday, June 27, 2016

Sao Joao Party and a Baptism!

Hey everyone! So this week was really good. This week was a big holiday here in this part of Brazil, São João. To be honest I have no idea why they celebrate it, I just know that every one dresses up like hillbillies, eat a lot of corn, and light big bonfires in the street. I think I told you guys about it last year. Anyways, yeah with all of the fires and fireworks in the street it gets pretty hard to breathe to be honest. Anyways, on Saturday the ward had a big São João party at the church. It was a blast and we were able to bring quite a few investigators. We actually brought one of our investigators J. P. who's 18 years old. In no time he was hittin' it off with one of the single adults in the ward haha. All I know is that I don't have to worry about fellowshipping him anymore haha. What a stud.
So anyways, we worked like crazy this week! We had 11 investigators in church with us this week. And that's without some of our main investigators who went out of town because of the holiday. It was awesome. We were able to baptize Je. She's a girl who we've been working with since we got here in the area. Her mom even went to church and watched her baptism. Her mom has come so far. I don't remember if I told you about this but last month we were talking to Je. in front of her house when all of a sudden her mom got home and started yelling and swearing at her like crazy. She had some major anger issues but we calmed her down and said a prayer with the family and ever since that moment she has completely changed. They are having family prayer together and now we just need to get her in the water. But anyways, Je.'s baptism was awesome.
But that's just about it for this week. I love you all! Thanks for everything you guys do for me! A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Pics - São João party at the church

Monday, June 20, 2016

I had an awesome spiritual impression!

Hey everyone! This week was super busy but way productive. We started off on Tuesday with a big conference with half of the mission because here in about ten days we are gonna get a new mission president. It was one of the most spiritual conferences I've been to on the mission. We learned so much... I don't remember if I shared this last week but I had an awesome spiritual impression. I've been studying a ton about the atonement lately and trying to figure out first of all why a great and eternal sacrifice was necessary and second of all, how could that one sacrifice cover the sins of all of humanity under the conditions of repentance. Like it was something that I couldn't wrap my head around. During the leadership council last week a missionary said something and it was one of those moments where you could almost feel the spirit shoving understanding into your mind. He said, "I'm grateful for the Saviors' sacrifice for him having paid the price that I would never have the courage to pay... to die for my sins." And I got to thinking man, would I be willing to die for my own sins? What about the sins of a loved one? Of a complete stranger? That may not seem like much but in the moment it all made sense to me. like a puzzle came together. I'm just not very good with my words to describe it for you guys. But anyways, that was my random spiritual impression this week.
So the rest of this week I spent on splits in three different areas in the zone. One in Parnamirim and two in Natal. It was really fun to work with and get to know the missionaries in the zone better. We had a blast together and walked a ton together! We found a big dune next to one of their investigator's houses and played on it for a bit. I'll try to send pics and videos. Saturday night I went to a baptism that some elders had in the zone then I called up R. from Alecrim and he took me back to my area in Parnamirim. He's a champ haha. Sunday came around and we were able to bring 6 investigators to church. Unfortunately M. and S. weren't able to go because they had to take care of his mom whose was amputated a bit ago. But we were able to bring another family to church. P. and his wife... (but they aren't technically married) Anyways, he has a cool story. He was taught by the missionaries a few months ago but nothing happened. The missionaries started teaching him recently and he had a dream. In the dream someone told him that he already had one chance to accept and he blew it...don't blow the second one. So he already accepted baptism. We have to start working on everything to get them married and baptized. So it should be good. We were able to baptize and kid named C. He's 12 and has been going to church for a while now with his friends. He was baptized and hopefully his friends will also be baptized soon. We're gonna work really closely with them this week. But that's just about it for this week.
I love you all! Thanks for everything! A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris
Sister Weatherford

Our groups trunky picture haha #2months ;)

Elder Phillips

Elder Melo

Elder Rocha from Cape Verde

 Elder H. Silva and Orozimbo

Elder H. Silva and Orozimbo

Haha Urim and Thummim Decorations

Monday, June 13, 2016

We got to go to town with a sledgehammer!

Hey everyone! This week was yet another good and productive week. This Tuesday we had the leadership council yet again... If I'm not mistaken it was my 13th council of the mission but my first one as ZL. I'm just glad I'm not a secretary anymore who has to prepare everything haha. Then on Wednesday we had a zone meeting. We talked a lot about the importance of obedience and why we are obedient on the mission. I think it went pretty well. Elder Shakespear was on splits this week so it was just Elder Melo and I here in the area... which means that I got to sleep on a bed instead of a mattress on the ground haha.
So remember the family that I told you about last week? So they went to church this week and loved it. Mú., his wife S., and two of their kids, B. and G. went. They were like a legit Mormon family in sacrament meeting, with treats and toys for the kids and all haha. They're pretty much already Mormons, they just don't know it yet. We are going to try to get them baptized either this week or the next. But for real they got there and the members took them in with open arms, took care of the kids and pretty much everything else you could imagine, which is actually the first time that I think I've seen that on my whole mission. M. C., who is another one of our investigators is still progressing well but some people from her last church started sending her a bunch of anti Mormon material. We talked a bunch with her and she was okay. She came to church this week with her mom (who was a non active but is now returning to the church). They both are doing really well.
This morning we did a service project with an older couple from the ward. We took out their door and a window and installed new ones. Now this isn't just your everyday project. all of the houses here are made of cement bricks. so we had to go to town with a sledge hammer and a chisel to break the old ones out and put the new ones in. But they gave us breakfast, lunch, and dessert so I can't complain. Plus it was fun going to town with the sledgehammer haha.

But that's about it for this week. I hope you are all well. I love you all! A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris

Oh yeah, Elder Cabral (Jimmy Fallon's twin) was transferred this week. He was a champ, I'm gonna miss him haha.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dude! It's the freaking spirit slapping you in the face!

Hey everyone! So this week was awesome! We found some awesome new investigators. Plus we were able to baptize a kid named A. I don't remember if I told you guys about him last week. His older sister was baptized about a month ago and is going super strong in the church so we've been working really closely with the whole family. I was able to baptize A. yesterday and now we just need to help the mom get over some problems so that she can be baptized too. But it's a really great family. Speaking of great families, we started teaching a family this week which is probably the most elect family I've met yet on my mission. We talked with the daughter the other day in the street and she invited us to stop by to teach her family so we went there and had one of the best lessons on the restoration I've taught. The whole family was so receptive plus they are legally married which is pretty much a miracle to find here haha. Anyways, we asked them how they were feeling after the lesson. The mom said she felt like everything we said was true, the dad said he was feeling a huge peace, and the daughter said she didn't know how to explain it but it was really good. I was like, "Dude, it's the freaking spirit slapping you in the face!"  We talked about eternal families and baptism. Now they just need to go to church. Luckily the dad's brother has been a member of the church for a few years now. So the dad already has family in the church. Anyways, we're super excited to keep working with them.
Tonight Elder Shakespear and I are gonna head up to Natal to go to the leadership council tomorrow. It'll be about my thirteenth or fourteenth of the mission but my first as Zone Leader so I guess we'll see how it goes haha. As for pictures, last week we used a super ghetto internet café and when I tried to send pictures it put a virus on my card and it got rid of all of my pictures since Mossoró... so I'll try to recover them when I get home. Anyways, so I don't really have any pictures for you guys this week because of that but next week I'll be sure to get you guys some. I love you all! Thanks for everything that you do for me! Have an awesome week! A igreja é verdadeira!

Elder Harris