Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oct. 29, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!
This week was transfer week! Sorry for not letting you know. So we have p-day today instead of yesterday :)
Elder Flake and I are still in the same area and we are still companions! I love this kid and the area is on fire! So I am happy with staying another 6 weeks. However, most of the zone has changed and we have a TON of new missionaries to the area. I just met one who came from Tahiti. He learned English and Spanish in the MTC in 3 weeks. He also speaks French and Tahitian. He is a spanish missionary but he was huge! I thought he was like 20 months out. But he's onle 3 weeks. ha! At the end of this transfer, I will be 10 days away from 6 months out. I cant believe how fast time is flying! That is 1/4 of my mission finished! Is time flying for you? I hope it is!
I can't believe that Gavin FINALLY got his eagle! I love the second picture of him modeling with the bushes and trees in the background. I would love that picture and any others you would like to send me! Also we don't have the conference talks yet but I would love those as well. I would love ALL of them that you could get me :)
This last week was full of some great experiences and not so great experiences. I went on exchanges and went down to Sells which is an indian reservation down here. I was with Elder Barlocker. He was super quite and really awkward to talk to. I thought he'd been out like 2 months but he'd been out 18... The entire ride to the trailer he lived in took about 45 minutes and he maybe said 5 words and I'm not exagerating. In 1 day, we taught 4 lessons which is how many they normally teach in a week. We drove 176 miles in 1 day! It was fun to get out of Tucson but I don't think I could last 3 hours in a car EVERY day.
We have that GIANT list of people from our ward that are less-active and we have just been trying to visit everyone on it. But that wasn't really getting us anywhere. So we decided that we would focus on 10 people and try to get to know everything about them. Like if they moved, where they moved to, why they went less-active, etc. This would take the place of tracting as well because we would just contact the new person that lived there if the less-active moved out and we would box-knock (knock on the surrounding doors). We stopped by this one house and she wasn't home. So we went to the neighbors house to see if she still lived there. She doesn't unfortunately but we ran into Benjamin. Ben is in his late 20's or early 30's. He is a less-active as well but never got his records transferred from where he previously lived because he hasn't been to church since 2004. He is married and has 3 girls. One is 6, the next is 3, and the last is 1. His wife isn't a member but said that she wasn't to start taking the lessons. We have the ward "TRUNK-OR-TREAT" tomorrow and so we invited them to that. They accepted and we got them all a ride already for that and to church! WE ARE TEACHING A FAMILY!!!!!! This is my first family we are teaching so I am super excited!
We then went to the next less-actives house but a man has lived there now for about 6 months. He quickly shut the door on us so we went to the neighbors house to see if there was a leasing office or a manager somewhere. We got ahold of his number and called him up. I introduced myself as a missinoary and he said, "I know you are! I have this number saved in my phone!" It turns out he is in the Stake Presidency up in one of the North Stakes! He owns a bunch of apartment complexes in our area and said to call him today and he would give us some referrals!
THEN we were riding away from that apartment and was stopped on the street by a lady. You could smell the alcohol in her breath and the smoke from her clothes. She said she wanted to turn her life around and get out of her habits. We got her number and her address. When we looked at the address, it was for the home of the less-active we had previously tried to contact at the complex where Steve (the stake presidency guy) owns! The EXACT same apartment! It was awesome! So we are going back to meet with her and with Benjamin and his family later tonight.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Keep reading your scriptures and keep making me proud!

~Elder Harris

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oct. 21, 2013

Hello my dearest and most favorite and really only family!! and friends-
I am so happy to hear that things are going so great at home! Things couldn't be going a whole lot better here!
We ran into a guy named Zack the other day. He is 19, moved out, working full time, and has a 2 year old son. I can't believe that he had a kid at 17! That's so sad. When we asked where the mom was, he just said she was out of the picture. We taught him the Restoration and he loved it! When we went back to visit him though, he wasn't home. So we called him and he said he's on his way to Merana to get a job up there. He moved out of his apartment and into a house he'd been looking at for about a month. Unfortunately, the house is out of our area so we have to pass him off.... But he said that it was him and his girlfriend that were moving into the house together so Im glad that his son will have a mom-figure to be with!
Edward is doing alright! He hasn't freaked out yet so that is a plus!! He is trying to read through the Book of Mormon but is having a really hard time understanding what all of it is saying. He said he started getting angry when he read through it by himself and he eventually had to put it down and do something else or else he would have flipped. So we are going to read through those chapters with him and help him understand. I really think that he is going to start coming  back though! Elder Flake is pretty much taking him under his wing and I am stepping  back to let him do so. This is great for Elder Flake!
We only have a few investigators currently. We went from 12 last week to 5 this week. We dropped a lot cause they weren't so much interested in becoming a member as they were being friends with us. We have Zack (who we have to pass off), Bones (who we may have to drop cause his wife doesn't want him to join our church), Vincent and Maria (We have been teaching them for 3 months now and they still haven't read any of the Book of Mormon or come to church because she is prego. She should be having the baby in the next week or so.) There is Mark (His wife doesn't really want him to join our church but she is alright with him listening and coming to church every so often) and Mike (he is homeless and we were told to be really careful that his intentions are right for wanting to join the church). So not the best group to work with but still not too bad! Torian (the black guy who lived in the house with only white pictures on the wall and old person decor) actually lived there. The apartment belongs to his girl friend and she is white. They just got together about a week before we came by so thats why it looks the way it does. We unfortunately had to drop him though because he didn't want to hear about our church, he just wanted us to come over and chill with him. I am really trying to focus on finding and teaching the elect out here. It is tough finding them but they are out here. I just need to keep the faith and keep moving forward!
That is so sad about those missionaries that were killed. They were in the best place they could be though. You don't need to worry about me! We are very safe and only talk to strangers when we are riding down very sketchy roads in the middle of the night. We try to talk to large groups of guys, they are usually all black, who are huddled in a circle in a dark alley. It hasn't worked out yet but I'm sure we'll find someone soon! ;) But we really are being safe down here. We lock our bikes everywhere we go and obey every traffic law just like I would in a car.
Elder Flake got a really bad miagraine this week. He was throwing up and couldn't see out of his right eye. So he slept almost all of Saturday. So while he did that, I was studying for your lesson mom! 

Hello My Ward Family!
I miss you all so much! I can't believe that it has already been 4 and a half months! Time is flying out here in the field and the work is progressing just as fast! We have had 3 baptisms in our ward since I've been in the ward. The work is tough and the heat was killer but the satisfaction in seeing someone I've come to love and call a brother or sister get into the waters of baptism is just inspiring and pushes me to work harder everyday! The one principle of the Gospel I have been working on the most so far in my mission is Faith. Faith is, just as the Fourth Article of Faith states, The first principle of the Gospel. Faith is knowing that my investigators can read and pray about the Book of Mormon and knowing they will receive an answer that it is true. Faith is knowing that by following the Spirit's promptings when it tells me what to say or who to talk to, they will accept my message and soften their hearts. Faith is knowing that my Father in Heaven knows me personally and knows what I'm going through so I can turn to Him and my Savior, even Jesus Christ for comfort and peace. Faith is an action word. If faith dwindles, it perishes. Just like a fire when camping. Once you get it started, if you just let it burn, soon it will die down and go out. But if we add to that fire daily with personal prayer and personal scripture study, we cannot fail. I know that this is the Lord's Church. I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is Prophet of God and that he speaks in behalf of God. I know that Book of Mormon is the word of God and that by reading it and applying it's teachings in to our lives, we can come closer to God than by any other book. I love this work and I love this church!

~Elder Kyle Harris

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 14, 2013

Hello Family!!! How are you all doing?? The mission is going so GREAT!!! I can't believe that 4 months have already passed and gone! I am 1/6 done with my mission. CRAZY!!!! I feel like it is flying so fast so I want it to slow down so that I don't have to worry about not having enough time but when I think about home, it doesn't go by fast enough. So just like you mom, I have lots of mixed feelings about time and having it go faster and slower.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!! I ran into an older lady the other night that made me think of you. She was super sweet and had the greatest spirit with her. She is a member and offered to buy my medicine for me for my cold. She was so nice!
This week has gone by super-oober fast! So we taught Edward this week right? I was really nervous going into the lesson. We had a member there with us that started the lesson off just talking about him. After about 15 minutes of getting to know him, we taught him about the restoration. As we got to the part about Joseph Smith, I looked him dead in the eyes and didn't take them off of his while I said, "Joseph Smith described his experience in his own words. He said, 'I saw a pillar of light, above the brightness of the sun, which decended gradually until it fell upon me...When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages, who's brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, "This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him."'" Last time, he freaked out and said Joseph Smith saw the devil and was deceived and so on but this time, the Spirit was super strong and I know that he felt it bear testimony that what I said was true. He then asked some good questions like "Where are the plates now?" and "Why don't we have them anymore?" and then accepted the answers that we told him. He really has had a change of heart! It is by far the BIGGEST miracle I will see my whole mission!
In district meeting on Wednesday, we were talking about "The Day". "The Day" is a day when the whole zone goes on exchanges and focusses on one aspect of the mission. For example, this "The Day" we will be focussing on getting members to come to lessons with us. Sometimes we may focus on finding or getting referrals. Every time we do this zone-wide exchange, miracles happen! As I was looking around at the guys that I could potentially go on exchanges with, I realized that I would rather stay with Elder Flake! We have grown so close and we really are just like brothers! He has such a strong testimony and pushes me to be a better missionary and a better example each and every day. I love going on exchanges though cause It allows me the opportunity to go out and get learn to work with all kinds of people with different personallities.
We got some shocking news this week... so on August 29th we happened upon a bible study. Rose is the mother of most of the people that show up. She was recovering from cancer in 3 spots in her body as well as bleeding in the brain. About a week ago, she came up to the sisters and said she wanted to start taking the lessons. We just got news on Thursday that she passed away. This was a big blow to the family. They all believed that she would have a full recovery and get better. But there is no doubt in my mind that she will accept the Gospel in the next life. She was prepared to hear the message. I completely believe that she was recovering because she needed to be willing to accept the Gospel in this life so that she would accpet it in the next. This will also be a great opportunity to teach the family about eternal families and how we will be together again.
On a different note, we ran into a lady on Friday. She would not stop complimenting us! It would have been fine if she didn't keep saying the same things over and over and over! Haha! She even complimented my watch and how I was wearing it! Weird... The she said that if she became mormon, she'd have to marry all the guys there cause she loved us so much. I told her I could help her with the mormon part and asked if she would be interested in hearing a message about Jesus Christ. She looked at me dumbfounded then said, "Oh hunny, I am Jesus Christ!" I just smiled and said, well its nice to meet you. Then told her we had to get going. As we rode off, I looked at Elder Flake and was like, "Sorry to burst your bubble but she was not Jesus Christ..." He just looked and me and was like "DUH!!" She was super nice though and it really boosted my ego about myself! ;)

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Keep working hard and keep the Spirit!

~Elder Harris