Sunday, June 21, 2015

An Email from the B's!

Elder Harris is serving about 1 1/2 hours from my husband and I.  We were passing through his town yesterday, so we had to stop by and see how he and his companion were doing and of course bring them a cold treat:). We found them happy and doing very well!   Thought you'd enjoy a few pictures.

In front of their board of investigators and baptisms.

In their kitchen. 

Thank you B's!!

The Spirit is So Powerful.

So, first week of the mission didn't go that badly! Still getting used to really living in a third world country, but aside from that this place is fantastic! 

Let me back up I guess. We showed up at the mission home on Tuesday, like scared little lambs, ready to be given trainers and sent off into the world. Other missionaries gathered around and it became clear that we were greenies who had never even seen what the field looked like. Eventually, my card came out, and it turns out my trainer is Elder Ojaide! A hilarious guy from Nigeria, with great English.  

I got assigned my area. I'm basically in the bush!  Man, I need to send pictures as soon as I am able, let's cross our fingers for next week for my camera SD card to work. Then, I think the description of this week will be pretty short, since I forgot my journal, but I'll do my best!

Something I had to get used to was the fact that there are so many different names that I'm used to here, and they're not said generally in a way I can understand. Precious, Perfect, Nodoubtingod, Godsway, and more. These people though are so warm and welcoming. Different ways of communicating, and different styles of personalities that I'm getting used to here, but it's all still good. 

Something so powerful to me during this week, was that no matter how stressed I got, or how uncomfortable a situation felt, as soon as I started teaching, a feeling of peace came over me. The spirit is so powerful, and even though God will let me make mistakes, he will never leave me alone! 

We have this super dedicated investigator, JJ, who keeps every commitment we've given him, and shows up to church activities like, 40 minutes early! He's fantastic. He loves God so much and wants to make sure he is following Him in the best way that he can. I will tell you about others another time.

Something about the system here, the town is basically built off the N2 national highway. And the town sprawls out in any direction. There are really no roads as houses are just built wherever they'll fit, so when talking to people about where they live, they give a landmark or a general area. Then, literally anybody and anybody will sit down and talk with you. A local chief gave us an appointment time with him this coming Wednesday, which should be fantastic. We ride our bicycles around and everyone keeps calling me Elder Green (who was the white missionary before me in the area), and the little ones will often look at me and say Yevu! which means white man. They'll just repeat it over and over. Yevu, yevu, yevu! It's super funny.  

We have a sizable ward as well, 34 people attended the other day, although half of them were young kids. And it also turned out I was being called as the executive secretary as well. We'll see how that turns out!

I also did laundry by hand for the first time today, and realized I had failed to buy clips to hang my laundry, haha. But aside from that, it went pretty well. I'll post some pictures of that as well soon. Preparation day has been pretty chill so far, it's been fantastic! I'll have a zone meeting for the first time tomorrow! Should be great!

2.5% of the mission done! I love you all! See you in 97.5%!

Elder Harris

This Week Was Pretty Great!

So this week was actually pretty great! I'm learning to be a better missionary every day. More than any other time in my life I'm finding it easier to memorize and learn the locations of scripture for use in teaching. It is truly amazing to see a miracle so evident in my life. Sorry, this letter is going to be a little shorter than usual. Somehow, once I had gotten through the majority of my email, it spontaneously deleted from gmail. Sigh. Well, what can you do? 

This week an Area 70 leader came to speak to us, Elder Curtis, and we had a devotional on the attribute of diligence. I certainly need to be more diligent in doing the things I need to as a missionary, and staying focused on the task ahead instead of goofing off sometimes. Now more than ever I need to stay focused on the Lord's work!  We also saw President Heid for a little bit, and got to talk to him, and I pretty much rambled. But hey, what can you do.

I'm getting better at teaching our acting investigators, and I've already committed two theoretical people to be baptized! haha.

We watched the funeral of L Tom Perry, which was a powerful experience, and a couple other devotionals throughout the week.

The B's, or the senior couple, left this week. They are awesome, but they'll be serving in my mission! I'm totally excited to serve in their area hopefully. Elder B is a great guy as well! He quit his job at Visa to come serve here for a year, and has a son on a mission as well. They're just good people.

During the week we had a practice lesson, and Elder S introduced himself as "Brother Bear" which had us all cracking up for like 10 minutes, following which he introduced himself as "Brother Elder". Not exactly the funniest story, but at the time, my lungs were threatening to burst. It was a well needed break and relaxation in class. 

We performed the Haka yesterday before we left, and walking around afterward, all of these missionaries call me over and bang their chests, say something in French and then some jibberish, so I just laugh and call it good.

On Saturday we had an arm wrestling match and I am completely undefeated! Granted in the space of 3 matches I completely destroyed my wrist and shoulder. It seems I have learned a lesson. And when told that white people have things like freckles, Elder O (from Kenya) said "Being white sounds like a hard business."

OOOOH! Miracle of the week! We were all getting tired of chicken and rice and the lunch ladies made us potatoes and grilled meat! It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

I love ya!

1 Nephi 11:17 
 17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ghana MTC: What do 96 Missionaries Sound Like on a Sunday Eve...

Elder Harris asked for this to be posted from the GhanaMTC blog.  Click below:
Ghana MTC: What do 96 Missionaries Sound Like on a Sunday Eve...: The missionaries from the Congo have a special descant they add when singing certain hymns.  The best example of this that I have experien...

Lines! There are no lines here.

Heyy!  For some reason the computer is not reading my SD card, so those will have to come next time. Pull a couple off the mission blog for my blog. Also, would you pull off the video of missionaries from the Congo singing Israel Israel God is Calling. It pretty much describes my life here. Feeling pretty good.

The schedule here is totally off, all the time, which I think is just the culture here, but I'm adjusting, haha. 

Surprise! It's Sacrament Meeting.

My companion is Elder Koronikalou (cohr-oh-knee-cah-loh) and he is from Fiji. He speaks pretty good English. He's a blast too, and is totally rocking it here. He is always inspiring and does his best every day. 

Lines! There are no lines here. People just kind of make their way places. I was in line with my companion and no fewer than 17 people cut in front of us, and nobody even noticed. 

Sunday here was super great though! The people here all sing soo loud! Sure, it's not gonna be super on tune, but they just give it their all! And everybody always sings! It's totally the best. Parts don't really happen, haha. Later in the week I also got Elder Grant as a companion since his companion got a Portugese guy to come in from the mission to help him since he barely speaks English. We listened to an Elder Holland clip for a meeting that really struck my heart! And come Sacrament meeting, it was just a surprise for who was doing what. I was sitting at the sacrament table when all of a sudden I heard my name as the one for giving the opening prayer and I was like, OK. Seems legit. Everybody was called for talks at random. 

All of their scriptures are well loved too. I feel like a spoiled brat since I got a new set when some pages were falling out. They have used their scriptures to the ends of the earth it seems. 

Oh! Before I forget! I have to tell you about Elder Ogonda! He's from Nigeria going to Zimbabwe, and he's 23, but the guy is totally a blast. He makes everybody laugh, and he's really good at English, which is nice. 

Back to the week, we're teaching lessons to fake investigators, which is actually going fairly well, getting good marks from most of the teachers. Learning the scriptures better, which is totally a blast! Today we got to go to the temple, which was such a great experience again! But while we were driving there were just people standing in the road walking between cars, selling things, and motorcyclists squirming their way throughout traffic, whether that be on sidewalk or road, nobody really noticed. It was really quite the experience.
Spiritual thought for the week, "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophecy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of sins" 2 Nephi 25:26.  It is amazing to be in a position where I can constantly refer others to Christ and the Book of Mormon, which Truly testifies if Him. I know He lives!

I miss you all, I love you all! Have a great week!

The following pictures and words are taken from  We love the Ghana MTC Blog!
 Prior to entering the temple the missionaries posed for a Ghana Temple photo moment.

 Most of the Mormon District - here for 11 days.

Our final group this week to attend the temple.
While in the MTC, the missionaries gather 5 times for devotionals - a welcome devotional on the First Saturday, a First Sunday Devotional, a Temple Preparation Devotional, an Area Devotional with a General Authority, and a Second Sunday Devotional.

Today was the Area Devotional with Elder Curtis.  61 of the 100 in attendance were listening to Elder and Sister Curtis using headsets for translation.

 Elder and Sister Curtis with the largest group in the MTC todate.

 Elder Harris shows his sweet table tennis skills.

Screen shots from the Ghana MTC Slide Show.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My First Mission Email

 OK, so here starts my first mission email!

 Attack at the Airport

So I got to waiting for the plane, and the first person I saw was this guy who had a huge My Little Pony Applejack stuffed animal. It was amazing. I think he was a little socially odd, but who cares when you have a ginormous applejack?  Also, when I got on the plane, one of the flight attendants was like "Hello Elder!" And I thought "You know me! You are totally the best!" And I  know I told Whitney I would talk to and convert the first person I talked to on the plane, but it turns out that on my first two flights I sat alone, and had no one to talk to.

I flew first to Seattle, which was about an hour and a half, and then I flew to Amsterdam in The Netherlands, which was a nine hour flight. I followed Whitney's advice and did mostly sleeping.

When I got to Amsterdam, I made my way to gate F08 and sat down waiting, when all of a sudden I saw a couple of guys walking around, my age, and equally fancy. Turns out I had just met Elder N and Elder S! They claimed me, and we went to where the other missionaries going to Ghana were. Elder N and Sister D are going to Madagascar, French, & Elder Mi and Elder T are going to Benin, also French speaking, and Elder S, Elder G and I were all going to Accra. Also, there's a senior couple with us, the B's, who aren't as old as the title suggests. They were super cool with everything and we had a good time. 
Meeting up at the Amsterdam Airport.  Many thinks to The B's for this great picture!

The flight to Accra was slightly sketchier. We got on a KLM flight, which was not as fancy as the Delta flights I'd had up to that point. The guy next to me had like, 5 or 6 glasses of red wine, and then the lady next to me just slept the whole time, except for a brief time when we talked about faith, so I just sat there and tried to sleep for 7 hours. Then we got off at the plane,and I have never felt such a solid wave of heat in my life. It's beautiful, but I think I've given up a hope of ever not sweating again. Then they took us to the airport where the first sign we saw was about ebola. Joyful. Then we went to go through customs, and nobody could understand the people who were helping them, and when the guy asked what I had in my bag, I think, also based on the questions of people around me, he just wanted to know if I had anything interesting in my bag. Then once we were getting out, it totally got sketchy. People kept trying to touch my cart to help me out, and people kept coming up to me to ask for "tips" and it was just this constant barrage trying to get out of the airport. I very well think it might have been the most frightening thing of my life. Then, somehow I ended up in front, and my 3 excessive suitcases labeled me as someone fancy, so they all just flocked to me searching for more "tips" despite my protests that I needed no help with my baggage. Then all these people were trying to lead us to these cars, probably to cab us, and... when we all got in the car, we shared an enormous sigh of relief. Then we got back, settled into our dorms and fell asleep.
I got my nametag! I am officially Elder Harris, which means that I am the best! Haha, aside from that, my companion is still in Mozambique or something, so I'm in a companion trio with Elder G and Elder C. Elder C is going to Angola and speaking Portugese,but there is no Portugese program here, so he's just doing his best with English for the next two weeks until he leaves. 

I have been getting better at understanding the instructors and the natives. Many of the native people speak English, but it's choppier and heavily accented, and often hard to understand. I love the MTC here. They gathered us at1:30 for class today. During that class,I also hit the jet lag pretty hard, and I can't wait to fix my sleeping schedule. Anyways, I think that's all for now! Catch you on the flip!


 - Elder Harris

View from the plane window over Wales.

The Ghana MTC

Me with Elder C and Elder G

The following pictures are from the website and President and Sister Robison (President of the Ghana MTC).  Thanks to them for the wonderful blog and pictures.

American Missionaries with a couple of Africans.

9 Americans happy to be serving in Ghana!

Elder Harris' Mission District

President and Sister Heid (Ghana Accra Mission) give the Ghana MTC misionaries a surprise visit.

Meet the Mormon District (all but one are bound for the Ghana Accra Mission with President and Sister Heid)

In the computer lab at the MTC.