Monday, November 23, 2015

The Blonde Bieber

My comp and I were walking in Caicedonia when all of a sudden someone far away looked at me and said that I was the Blonde Bieber. So I´ve been called the blonde bieber. I don´t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. But I´ll take it for what it is. I´ve been called gringo a thousand times. I am probably the only white person here in Sevilla. There is an eminem rap lyric that goes perfectly with my situation." Yall act like you´ve never seen a white person before." It is so funny because everyone stops and stares at me. People never turn away, when I pass them they turn their heads almost like how an owl can turn his head 180 degrees. It is very strange.

I had my first baptism this week. His name is Oneider, he has a real deep love for his Savior and to do the work of the Lord, and to follow his example. I was able to baptize him and bring him into the gospel. I am so proud of him and hope he will always remember the goodness that is the gospel. I love being out here on my mission. Things are nice and I finally feel like a missionary.

I love my area, it rains almost everyday and can get kind of dull. It actually has change in weather. Some days it can be in the 70-80 degree range and then drop to the 40-50 range. There is a suprising chill in the air. All of the Latinos say that it is freezing and that it is so cold. They wear the same clothing Minnesotans wear when it is -20 at home haha. They have no idea what cold actually is.

Not much happens during the week. We work a lot and have lots of lessons. There isn´t a lot of change going on. Later this week President Calderon will be visiting our zone. I am nervous for our meeting, but I don´t have much to worry about. I am following all the rules and I have never felt so close to the spirit of the Lord before. I love having the hour in the morning for personal study. It is probably my favorite time of the day. I get to search things for my investigators and at the same time strengthen my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I love reading the scriptures because there is so much I get out of them every time I read. I always find something new or personal that applies just for me. I know people say to read and pray every day. But that is so true. If everyone would do those things every day, you would have no idea how much a blessing it will be in your life. Personally for me I took the scriptures for granted. I should have been reading every day. I won´t make that mistake again. Seriously open your scriptures, and use the ones that are bound by paper. Don´t use your phone. There is just something about using your personal scriptures that invites the spirit, and you can feel the sweet tender love of the Savior. The scriptures can change your life, and if you apply them and ask sincerely through prayer, we can know the truth of all things. The Book of Mormon is true, and I can say that without a doubt.

The mission is going great. The work is hastening on, and I am so happy that I get to be a part of this great work. If you have any specific questions you want to ask me feel free to write me. I love getting emails from all of you.

Elder Harris

November 23, 2015

Elders Castillo, Harris, and Covarrubias

Elder Canavese, Oneider, and Elder Harris
I had my first baptism! Oneider is such a cool dude who now wants to serve a mission.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Future Brother In Law

Remember how dad told the story about how if you see a woman you can only look at her for 3 seconds. But if your companion doesnt see her you get his 3 seconds. So you get a total of 6 seconds. So my companion doesnt know this rule, so I always get 6 seconds haha.

I found the photo of our family and I put in on my desk. Elder Castillo who is from peru keeps telling me that I am going to be his future brother in law, he wants to marry Somer. He reminds me everyday, it can get kind of annoying, but for the most part it is fun. Somer please do me a favor and never marry any of my companions ok haha.

So we have a baptism this Saturday! I am so pumped. His name is Oneider and has a super strong testimony. We are so proud of his example to follow Christ and to become better. He is such an inspiration to me. He is super involved in the church and eveyone loves him. He is going to do great things, and we hope he continues to make the right choices.

My spanish is getting a lot better, I can understand pretty much everything that people are saying to me. But there are a few things here and there that I just dont know. The language is a daily battle. Having my companion who is from Uruguay really helps me in language study. I'm learning more and more each day. It is nice to know that I am better in the language now than I was the day before. In lessons I forget a few words, but I can still feel the spirit. Which is a huge blessing for me.

Elder Canavese is awesome! He is such a super cool dude. He follows all the rules and we have fun while out in the field. He is such a good role model for me. He loves all the people and he helps me not to get too stressed or too down on myself. He always helps to encourage me to make the right choices, and to always turn to the savior whenever times are tough. He is the best trainer. Also Elder Covarrubias and Elder Castillo are amazing friends. They are fun to talk to, and make me laugh everyday.

So the food here is like the same every day. We have rice with every meal, a fried banana, and some kind of meat. We eat rice everyday. Usually people get beer guts, but no for missionaries we get rice guts. I need to be more productive in my activity time in the morning hahaha.

All the latinos refer to us as gringos. I'm okay with that and it is fine. So we come back and call them Beaners haha. All the time we talk in a funny voice and go, SHUT UP BEANER! Its not an insult, but more of a joke. The Latinos laugh and we all have a good time.

Also today we are in Armenia. It is the city were we have all our zone meetings. And because my companion is the district leader we go to a lot of meetings in Armenia. Its a lot of fun. Armenia is like an actual city, while Sevilla is more of a local village. Armenia is nice, and we get to play soccer as a zone today. I am so excited to play a good game of soccer.

Also this past week Colombia played Chile. I know this because all of Colombia was dressed in yellow, blue, and red jerseys. The score was 1-1. Im glad we didnt lose. Otherwise we probably would have to go home early from the riots in the streets. I'm just kidding about the riots, I don't haven't ever seen one yet haha.

Thats all I got for you for now. I'll do my best to get lots of pictures today so I can send a lot next week. Everything is chill here in Colombia. Love and miss all of you.

Elder Harris

November 16, 2015

Straight Outta the MTC

So I made it to Medellin safely. My zone is called Armenia. Its the most southern zone in the mission. I'm in a small town called Sevilla. It's super cool, but it is really small. My companion is Elder Canavese, he is from Uruguay. He speaks super good spanish and knows a little bit of english. I lucked out with a companion that speaks at least a little english. It allows me to grow my spanish, but whenever I have a question he can help me in english. So far the mission work is going great! We have two people with baptismal dates. Oneider and Katherine. Oneider is pretty much a golden investigator. He reads his scriptures daily and prays often. Im so excited for him to make this giant step in his life. Katherine is 14 years old. She has been interested in the church for 4 years, and when we talked with her we asked if we could set a date, and she said yes. Elder Canavese told me that this was a rare ocassion. He had never seen her make such a big step. We hope that we can keep her to that date and hopefully have her baptized.

My companion is amazing, we both get along really well and things just work together. The lanuguage is tough, especially when I am in a lesson trying to convey a message and I dont have the words to say it. It can get really frustrating. But my companion is helping me not to stress to much about things that are out of my control. He is a super cool guy.

Here the weather is really bad. So apparently November and December are the rainny season months in this part of Colombia. It rains nearly every day. Also people told me that once you get out on the mission you're suppose to work your glutes off. I've literally been working my glutes off. We walk so much and often up really steep hills. Whenever I go to bed I'm so happy because it means that I don't have to use my legs. Once my head hits the pillow I'm out so fast. It takes some getting use to the mission schedule but I'm getting there.

Also every day we get to have lunch with members. It is usually the same meal. Beans, rice, meat, and the occasional avocado slice. The people are really nice and cool. But whenever we go walking places people stop and stare whenever we walk past. It's like they have never seen a white person before. Once there was a bunch of kids and some of them gasped when they saw me. Its super strange here. But its kind of nice that I stand out here. I'm the only once in this city with naturally blonde hair.

Things are great, my companion is good, I'm progressing in the language, my testimony is getting stronger and things keep looking better and better.

November 9, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I'm in Medellin

Hello Mi Padres,

I wanted to let you know that I made it to Medellin today! I made it safely and things are great. I will be writing you guys more about my mission on Monday. They are only giving me about ten minutes to write, so í´ll update you more on Monday. So today I will get a new companion, I´ll spend the night in Medellin and then find out my area, and then go to it tomorrow. The Mission President is super nice, I am like twice his height. Anyways, things are great, I love it here already 100x more than Bogota, and things are only looking better. I can´t wait to tell you all about it on Monday. But for now I have to go, I have meetings with the president today and a very busy schedule.

Adios Mis Padres,

Elder Harris

November 3, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Last Week in the CCM

So a typical day for me starts off waking up at 6:15 and then get ready and be down in our room for personal study at 7. We study for an hour and then have breakfast at 8. We then have a couple classes. We get to go over grammar classes and practice giving phrases in spanish. We then have lunch and then have a few fake investigators. We prepare lessons and then teach and then study some more. We then get to have activity time each day for an hour. I love to play soccer with the Latinos. One day I scored 4 goals. It was amazing. especially because all the Latinos are amazing at soccer. Then we shower, and get ready, then head down for dinner. After dinner we either have time for some more classes, some doctrinal study. Then at about 9 oclock we plan for about half an hour and then get ready for bed. I usually stay up for a bit to ready my book, Our Heritage. We then turn in and go to bed at 10:30. Then we repeat the cycle again each day. We plan a lot, pray a lot, eat a lot, and learn a lot. At this point all the days are starting to turn into the same day haha. We leave for the field this Monday, and I will finally get to leave.

So I have had the same mission companion during my MTC experience. You have a companion every transfer which is every 6 weeks. Things with Elder Hanson are great. He is super cool. I am ready to leave. I am ready to get a trainer and to learn more about the culture of Medellín.

So it´s not really a prison. It just feels like it because we have a set schedule every day and have limited time to be outside. It´s not really a prison, I´ve just learned to make the best of the situation. I have had a pretty good attitude so far and things are great. We eat so much, I have gained 5 lbs since the last time I weighed myself. I bet I´ll have gained more before I leave for the field. I´m not discouraged, things are great. I am just ready to not be trapped in the same place for more than a month. To finally be able to walk around and be free haha.

Not much has happened since I last wrote you. Also once I get out in the field I will have a more set schedule to write at stuff. In the MTC sometimes I write on Tuesdays, sometimes on Thursdays. I´ll have a more frequent schedule once I´m out. Things are great here, and I love the teachers. I lucked out and got some really good trainers. I am also really going to miss my district. Everyone is so fun and we all have a good time in our district.

Today was the last time that I get to go to the temple for about 2 years. I was really bummed out about that, but I'm ready to leave Bogota. However I will miss Bogota´s crazy traffic, crazy graffiti, and homeless people. I know that Medellín needs me.

I´ll write more when I get a chance. Also I´ll have a ton more to write about. Next time you here from me I will be in my mission.


Élder Harris
Our bedding is dope! We get dolphins.

Same suit - Same ties