Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 2, 2013

Hello Family and Friends!
It sounds like you had so much fun for Thanksgiving! I wish that I could have been there to have fun with you guys but it sounds like you made the best of it without me so that is good! I had a great Thanksgiving too! We went over to the second counselor in the bishoprick's house. His name is Brother Bedford. He is pretty rich and owns a HUGE house on the hill. We showed up around 2 and left around 5. There was about 30 people at his house and it was potluck style so everyone brought food! THERE WAS SO MUCH FOOD!!!! I stuffed myself in about 30 minutes. Then re-stuffed myself about an hour later. Then they gave us one of those turkey alluminum trays FULL of food to take home. It was buldging in the middle because it was stuffed so high! Then we came home and got a call from one of the other families in the ward asking if we were ready for dinner. They knew that our "dinner" started at 2 instead of 5 when we normally have it so they decided they would make food for us too. I wasn't even hungry when we went over there but I ate anyways. I don't know how Elder Flake did it but he ate 2 big plates at the Bedford's and another 2 big plates at the Hewes! He is such a stud though that he can do that! So yes, we were taken care of for Thanksgiving! :)
Another thing that happened this Thanksgiving was the Turkey Bowl! We didn't play football but we did play basketball! We played from 8 to 10. It was a blast! Everything was going great until one play... Elder Smith is our District Leader. He is also in the other set of missionaries in the Casas Adobes ward. Anyways, he was playing defence against me during one game. His team had just scored so one of my teammates went to throw the ball in. He just picked it up and as he was throwing it in to me, saw that Elder Smith was right behind me. So the ball slipped out of his hands. He knew that he couldn't touch it and so did Elder Smith. Elder Smith ran for the ball and just as he was about to grab it, this member that threw the ball in hit it down into the ground and it bounced up and hit Elder Smith's pinky! He grabbed it and jumped up and down then paced back and forth. I thought he just jammed it but he showed us and at the first joint right above the knuckle, his pinky was sticking straight up. The member that did it to him was also a doctor so he went over and pulled on it then pushed it back into place. Elder Smith said that he couldn't even feel the member touching his hand because it was so numb. It is now just bruised and still a little swollen but he is using it to type so I guess it is feeling a little better! 
I did get your package as well! Thank you so much! I don't think I am going to put the christmas lights up in this apartment because it would be a waste of those wall hanger things you sent me. Elder Flake hasn't opened his present yet but he tried peeking for about 5 minutes before he couldn't take it anymore! He put it away and promised he wouldn't open it till Christmas. He says thank you! I also gave him our home address so that he could write you a thank you letter (he asked for it, not my idea.)  I also have some ideas for christmas presents that I would like to get everyone. They are pretty cheap but pretty cool still! I will send it home hopefully this week! If I could get anything for christmas, honestly it would just be like giftcards to places. It would help me save money and give me less stuff to worry about when I pack up to get transferred. The way that transfers work is they hold the mail starting this wednesday so that the people getting transferred don't have anything going to their old area. Then they send it out the following wednesday after transfers. So it doesn't matter when you send it! It will get to me around the same time anyways! :)
Elder Flake is such an awesome missionary. He has such a strong testimony and his love for the people he is around is out of this world! And tonight, it payed off. Brother Hewes is the guy we ate dinner with on Thanksgiving night. He is a convert to the church and served a full-time mission. He since then has stopped coming to church and picked up swearing. He drives a cab for his job, has 4 kids that he yells at more than he talks to them, and unfortunately makes some very crude or innapropriate jokes. He is a great guy and a great father but just lost his way on the path. So Thanksgiving night, Elder Flake left his BOM at the Hewes' house. We got a call from him that night saying he would bring it by the apartment Saturday. So Saturday night rolls up and he calls and says he is at the apartment. We meet him in the back parkinglot and he is leaning against the hood of his car. He smiles and shakes our hands then says, "Before anything else is said, I have something I need to say." He looked at Elder Flake dead in the eyes and said, "I know I am usually a jokester and I am rarely serious about anything, but I have to be serious with you right now. I have been praying for the past 3 years that something or someone will inspire me to go back to church and become active. I don't know why but you are that inspiration. You have such a strong testimony and people need to hear it. Something that I have never faultered on is listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I felt prompted to write my testimony in the inside cover of your Book of Mormon and mark some scriptures. I also feel inspired now to tell you that somebody on your mission is going to need what I have written and marked. And if you prayerfully study and listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, you will find that person who needs your testimony and mine as a second witness. Thank you for being the missionary you are and don't give up that badge for anything in the world." Then he reached out and shook his hand. Then he looked at me and said, "Elder Harris, thank you for training such a wonderful missionary. You are also a wonderful missionary and there are multiple people that you need to teach out here that only you will be able to help." I shook his hand and told him "Elder Flake came pre-trained but thank you." He gave Flake the BOM and then had to get back to work. This is definitely an experience that Elder Flake and I won't soon forget. I know that there are people out here that I need to teach and it may not be in this area. That is why I am excited for transfers. There is someone in my next area waiting for me. I don't know who it is but I know there is someone and I know that the Spirit will guide me to them then use me as an instrument in bring him/her to the fold of God.
Mom- On thanksgiving, brother Hewes was texting everyones mothers and telling them how great of missionaries we were and that we were helping the work pregress here in the Casas Adobes ward. I don't know why but I just had a feeling to tell him no... After we left, I admit that I kinda regretted telling him no because he was also recording each missionary saying "I love you mom!" then sending that recording to their mothers. I was off the rest of the night and I couldn't figure out why I said no. I guess that it doesn't really matter in the long run but it really bothered me that night. You know that I am going good work out here right? I hope so. Cause I am! I PROMISE! :) and You know that I love you! I love you more than anything else! :) Don't ever forget that.
Thank you for keeping me in your prayers! I LOVE YOU!!!!

~Elder Harris

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