Monday, October 26, 2015

Can't Imagine A Mission Anywhere Else.

Hello all! Long time!

Sorry I didn't get to email you yesterday, but, cool story, I was actually helping to hand out 6000 PAIRS of glasses to people! Mostly just being a waiting entertainer.

This week was fantastic though! We had a lot of success and were able to talk to a lot of people and solidify some progressing investigators. We also baptized B and her Grandson G! We forgot they had baptismal dates and let them slip under our radar, because she doesn't speak fantastic English. She came to church, but we had no way to measure her commitments aside from that, and we thought it was more of a distant thing. But it's super amazing to see that soon, G will be passing the Sacrament! Totally powerful stuff!

Also, I found potatos. POTATOES!!! I made mashed potatoes, and had so much happiness I had strong desires to cry. I miss potatoes with my full heart. But I know I will be blessed for eating yam for the next 2 years.
On to the week!

District council! I assumed my new assignment from the zone leader as the district piano player, and did a moderate to cruddy job until it went light out in the middle of our closing hymn. Our district leader gave the instruction on becoming consecrated missionaries, which was good. Then we ate some rice for lunch (after pancakes, I forgot, for breakfast) and went out to see a theoretical investigator. She wasn't around, but we talked to this guy beginning with the question he brought, "Was Jesus white or black?" "Neither... He was Jewish..." He brought a buddy, and they both brought their Rasta friend who tried to bible bash us on the Sabbath day. Tell you stories about that later in the week. Then we saw E, answered some of her questions, and then P and L, who have been committed to baptism by our branch president! I pray they will keep commitments. We saw B at the chapel, and it turns out she's been telling her friends at school about the church, and they've been making fun of her, and she even slapped one of them for throwing her book of Mormon on the ground. She's been coming to church for like 3 weeks now maybe. Super solid.
Oatmeal and toast. Did it wrong, not as tasty. Sad day. Went to market, had banku and okroh for lunch, and then went out. We saw J, and talked about the Sabbath day and the sacrament. Then we saw B, and R, and ended seeing B to prepare her for baptism with Br! She gave us the scoop and asked if G could be baptized as well. Fantastic. 

Toast, and we saw a less active, CA! CA joined the church when she was young, but when she moved to JCity, the church wasn't here, and she hasn't been for 27 years and she says it's too late. She's like a fresh investigator though, and doesn't remember anything. It's fun talking to her though, and she loves us! Had some watche for lunch, and after a day wandering for failed appointments, we saw G, taught him to prepare him for baptism, and so forth. We then had institute, and then saw B afterward, and collected her information for her record. 

Got to go never mind.

Elder Harris

Sorry, temporary problem with the internet cafe lady.
Long story short, since I only get to finish this:

Friday was good.
We met with the Rasta guy and his buddies, and it turns out they were trying to get us to convert him to be a Christian, and I hope we'll be able to help them along the way. We eventually just had to finish the Rasta guy's view and tell him "Saturday" is the seventh day according to the Vikings and their gods, and so forth. The Sabbath day, is a day that God reveals to his prophets. It's really the only question out there I've learned. Any issue, whether the word of wisdom, one true church, baptism and so forth really boils down to the fact that God speaks through a prophet today,and I think it's something very powerful. 

Somehow we managed to have 14 investigators at church. It blew my mind, it was so fantastic. B and G were baptized!! So fantastic!! I conducted sacrament meeting, and then taught Sunday School. Afterwards had meetings and went to KCity to prepare to go to Accra the next day.
We went to Accra to help out with the eyeglass clinic thing. Talked to a couple of people who loved me because I speak ewe, and then we helped organize for an hour or two. For most of it, I was a greeter, and sent people to the chapel to wait. Unfortunately, we had to turn a bunch of people away, and send a bunch of newly irritated people home because of how slow things were going. Sad day. I hope it'll be faster next week. 

K, short on time! I luffs ya!

Rockin' it

Forgive me yet again, I got like 2 more minutes thank goodness.

I just remembered Friday. I went on exchanges with Elder Beckstrand in ACity!! Man, the place is almost first world. There were actual doors to knock. Doors. People lived in organized compounds next to real streets. Streets. My mind is blown for the week. I had a great time with him, but man, people there don't wanna talk. It seems the more bushy the area, the more likely people are to talk to you. Can't imagine a mission anywhere else, my people. This is the best place!

Love you all yet again!

Elder Harris


Nicest Tro Tro I've been on yet.

Monday, October 19, 2015

This Week a Miracle Occured in My Life.

Heavens above. This week a miracle has occurred in my life. You know what happened? I'll tell you. I had ice cream. OK, not exactly ice cream, fan ice, but it's close enough! Vanilla sugarry frozen milkstuffs that is almost ice cream! Crumbled some cookies inside and dreamt of the good old ice cream days. But now they exist in Ghana! I attached a picture just so you could all be jealous of my African dream.

In truth, the week was made well. I forgot to tell you last week, on preparation day, I learned to cut hair! You heard me right! We went to our talketive barber friend Felix, and he walked me through cutting Elder Harvey's hair, you just need to cut "with the natural flow of the hair". It's fantastic, and I think I am now having a dream of opening a salon. Maybe two.

We also spent a lot of time in meetings this week, so I apologize that my week will be a little less educational, or rather, entertaining or time wasting than usual. But to continue on the week.....

Zone training! Totally great! Elder Skelton and I gave the culutural minute on America and pretty much talked about Michael Jackson and pizza. We 'Mericans can't really give much more than that. I moonwalked as well, super rusty. Then we... I just realized this is the path for Thursday... zone training was held a different day of the week.... Forgive me....

Tuesday #2:
Had toast for breakfast, then President Kassah called us to the chapel and essentially we had a BYC for like 4 hours. Totally rightoeus. Trying to develop a business or sommat to keep the youth busy and out of trouble. Then we saw EY, who showed his inner passions and zeal and was just fantastic! Super prepared! He asked about getting a patriarchal blessing as well! After him, we saw EA, who said he knows the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I wish it motivated him to come to church more though. We'll have to see how that can work for him... Finally we had our branch presidency meeting and called it a day.

Oatmeal and toast for breakfast. Combo, weren't expecting that, were you? Neither was I, but the oatmeal had cinnamon in it, and it was a fanatastic idea. Then we went to market, we saw J, and then M, who came to institute, but not church :'(.

Continue from Tuesday #1. After zone training, we saw JJ, who apparently read the books of Jacob, Enos and Omni. Killer guy. Then we brought A to translate a lesson for us, to talk to P's mother, Va, who I pray will progress in the future. Then we had institute,and had a meeting with the Branch President and the Mission Leader afterward and during.

Nothing notable, and I'm short on time. I bought 20 cedis fan ice, and it was the most fantastic thing of my life.

During study my companion and I had a long conversation on being able to identify the spirit. I think I will include these thoughts as a spiritual thought very soon. It included some very powerful principles and lessons! We saw C after that, who apparently is an old investigator who wants to be baptized, and came to church twice before we identified him as an investigator! He is working hard to join the church, and sees the blessings it can bring to his life. I hope that we will be able to help his family as well! Then we saw SA, who apparently can't come because of familial pressures. She knows everything is true, but her parents won't allow her to pursue the gospel at this time. I hope it can change sometime in the future. Then we ate some red red, and saw B, a 14 year old who loves the gospel and wants to join the church as well! A recent convert has been an excellent role model for her!

I gave a talk on agency, and heard the prayers of one of my recent converts, B, who prayed that we would "be doers, and not just hearers of the word" I love this guy so much. Then I taught Sunday School, and had meetings after church. Elder Sanders brought gifts from Elder Green, who has finished now, including log cabin syrup, strawberry lemonade, and so forth. Good week.

Today I bargained 5 cedis of a speaker! Feeling like a bargaining boss.

This week I have been thinking a lot about the divine power of agency. To look at all the work God has put into our lives, and the upkeep it takes, it struck me that it might simply be easier to guide us by the nose, without even worrying about our views. However, God cares enough about our individual progressions and potential that he dedicates time, and people, and power in order to keep our own... selves true to our nature, to be determined by our choices. All of the power to determine our eternal consequences simply in the small choices we make every day. It makes it all the more important to take Alma's advice and seek for the "mighty change of heart"! To be doers rather than simply hearers of the word.

Elder Harris

Monday, October 12, 2015

This Week Totally Happened!

The week totally happened. I had a great one actually! Had a lot of fun and did some deep cleaning this week. A lot of cleaning. Both spiritually and physically, haha. I wish I had a bit more of a preliminary rant, but at the moment you'll just have to take what I can give you for now. I promise I'll talk more about the week in exchange.

To the week!

Got news from President Heid that it would be a deep cleaning day. So we spent from 7:00-11:00 straight up cleaning everything we could get our hands on. You name it, we scrubbed it. So much cleaning I was sweating (not sure if it's Ghana, or hard work). Then we went to a late district council, and had a surprise visit from the assistants! Then we went back and taught our buddy PA, who had wonderfully sincere questions about baptism, the method, who can do it and so forth. Then, unfortunately, we were short on time for proselyting and had a branch presidency meeting.

Had some monster pancakes full of oats and all sorts of delights. Felt obolo(fat) all day. We first went out and taught J about the differences between being baptized into the church and other churches, about how it is necessary to have the proper authority that God restored to His church. He at first was confused, but then accepted it readily. Then we went to market, and I bought spring onions and cabbage for the first time. I'll see how to use them.... ooooh. Then we sat down with O, and talked about Joseph Smith, and the importance of Prophets and the Book of Mormon. Finally we had Brother Francis with the misison office pretty much come fix our stuff for the rest of the night. We did get to go see P, who seemed to have been dreaming of Joseph Smith, and had the misconception that Joseph Smith was equal to or higher than Christ, to which we had to correct him, and say that he was a prophet whose sole purpose was to point to Christ in these last days.
Toast. DElicious. First we saw P, who it seems was introduced to the gospel by J! He gave her a word of wisdom pamphlet, and she called us over and was asking questions galore. Hopefully we'll be able to see her again soon! She seemed interested in the prophet Joseph Smith. Had a bunch of appointments fall through, and found this guy who wanted us to pray over some pamphlets he had coined called "Keep on Praying". Not knowing what to do, Elder Harvey just prayed that the guy would be able to help people come to Christ. We ended up teaching EA from the Book of Mormon Stories next, and hope he can keep the commitment of coming to church this coming week. Finally we had institute, and I taught the Fall to a full house of like 8 or 9 people! It was great! While teaching, it took the pathway that the fall truly is the instrument used to point us eternally to the atonement of Jesus Christ. 

Pancakes again, saw PA, who asked more killer questions, and then then saw P for the first time in forever, who was ridiculously tired. Then we saw S with D, and it seemed she was stuck on the physical "signs" that other churches show of the spirit. I am afraid that she will stop progressing. Then we saw J, followed by the daughter of a less active, and went to see L and M with their brother E before the end of the day! I'm not sure what to think of them yet, but we'll see. 

We went to KCity for district conference, and President Heid told everybody at the leadership meeting that I was paying 1600 cedis a month to be here and they all just looked at me. Sooo much money to them. Felt a little uncomfortable. After conference we stayed in KCity and went out with the elders there.

We continued conference, attended a meeting on tithing settlements, and got back late enough that we only had time for a member to insist to feed us before weekly planning.

Good week!

For my spiritual thought this week, we were watching the video on Companionship Inventory during training, and Elder Bernal was saying something, and three words he said struck my heart. "Learn to Repent" I forgot the rest of the words he said, but these three have stuck with me. I realized that repentance is not something that is incredibly easy. Upon reflection of many of the trials and frustrations that have come both on mission and in my life, many of them came simply because I either did not know or recognize to repent, or did not repent completely. Repentance is the method by which we come to be closer to God and happier in our own lives. I have realized that repentance drives away contention, it drives away frustration and it is the process by which we can truly be saved.

I love you all!
Rockin' it!

Elder Harris

 A picture of J's baptism

Me with the leaving Elder Sargent!

KCity Zone Elders 

Monday, October 5, 2015


Wow! What a clever title! Totally the best!!! How did he do it, you may be thinking? No one knooows... I'm an idiot. Forgive me... But in truth, titling my emails seems to be one of the harder things in my life at the moment, which means I have an easy life, but also testifies to my lack of writing cleverness. !
To the week:

District council, I got to lead a discussion on Alma 20:29-30. Something very powerful, about living to the lots that God casts for us in our lives.

Alma 20:29-30 29 And when Ammon did meet them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for behold they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords. And they also had suffered hunger, thirst, and all kinds of afflictions; nevertheless they were patient in all their sufferings.
 30 And, as it happened, it was their lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardened and a more stiffneckedpeople; therefore they would not hearken unto their words, and they had cast them out, and had smitten them, and had driven them from house to house, and from place to place, even until they had arrived in the land of Middoni; and there they were taken and cast into prison, and bound with strong cords, and kept in prison for many days, and were delivered by Lamoni and Ammon.
Had lunch of beans and plantain with Elder Smith and Elder Sargent. Then we went out and taught J about the Tithes, and the Word of Wisdom. Then we saw E and M, and talked about the chapter she had read, 3 Nephi 11. She came with questions pre written! M seems like the only one who is really interested, I just hope E doesn't affect her. Then we saw JJ, and it appears he really wants to pay for the Sacrament! True sacrifice my people! Then ahd a branch presidency meeting.

Had cereal. CEREAL!! I had cereal people! I thought it was something I would say goodbye to! We found some milk, and this weird tiny bitty cereal and devoured it! The best thing of my whole life I'm sure! Pretty much all of our appointments spontaneously fell through. Fun day wandering.

Cereal again. Just about ready to cry here. Then we saw J and his sister, and talked to a few more investigators, and had some Indomi and egg for dinner. Nothing totes cray. Taught this random guy in the evening who had questions about Lilith, the Bermuda Triangle and more. Led it in to another man who had tons of questions about Joseph Smith! Hope to see him agian.

Exchanges! I went to ACity with Elder Smith and totally had a blast!! We got FanDango (which is almost Sunny D) and had a blast pretty much contacting a bunch of people fresh.

J's baptism! Essentially, he was two hours late, because his boss wasn't coming to relieve him from work, so eventually he just closed up the shop and came to be baptized! What a great guy! Other stuff happened later too!

Meetings, and we taught B with A as a translator for us! I think she will actually be baptized in the coming month. Totally crazy!

Nothing really today!

Forgive me! I have managed time poorly this week/day and not organized proper thoughts for the email. I will do better. Love yall!

Elder Harris