Hello Family!! I LOVE coming to get on my email and seeing that people are still thinking about me :) I have a lot of Elders who tell me that after a year, people stop caring until about 4 months till you come home then they all get really excited again. Don't let that happen, k? I love hearing from you guys and I don't know how I could go for a few weeks without hearing from you!
First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I sent you a card on Saturday but when we went out to check to see if it was taken later that night, there was still mail in the out-box... So I don't know if he picked it up then people put stuff in or if he just forgot.. But I didn't forget! It should hopefully arrive today, tomorrow, or Wednesday! :) I thank my Heavenly Father EVERYDAY for the privilege to be your son! I don't deserve to have such a loving, caring, patient mother. But I have been VERY blessed and I will always be in debt to Him for that. Thank you Mom :) I LOVE YOU!!!
I threw a party for Calvin this Wednesday. I had a feeling that he would probably be late (just because you never hear of people having babies on their due date) but I didn't want to miss my chance before he came! We didn't have stuff to make cake or brownies but we put on party hats and celebrated for about 5 minutes! Haha I should have taken some pictures. We still have the hats so we will take some later tonight :)
So I want to start off telling you about Elder Alder. Elder Alder is from Mesa, Arizona. He is 18 and just graduated this year. He is dealing with depression and has for most of his teen years. President emailed me last week and explained that he needed a happy, obedient companion and he would be happy and obedient too. And it has worked! Elder Alder is one of my favorite companions thus far! (He ties for 2nd with Elder Hickenlooper). In the 6 weeks that I was together with Elder Jones, we found 2 new investigators. Elder Alder and I have only been together for 1 week and we have found 3 news!! Elder Stock (my district leader) said that when you love your companion, your area usually flourishes! And that has happened with Elder Alder! I didn't think that I would say this but I like being Elder Alders companion. :)
So because we went up to Phoenix earlier this month, we had to give up 150 miles. And it really took a toll on us last week. Our miles reset on the 25th of every month and we hit our limit on Transfer Tuesday. So Wednesday - Saturday we walked EVERYWHERE we went, unless we could get a ride to dinner. Each day, we walked to the other side of our area which is about 5 miles to get there. Then we would walk around and see people, then we would walk back. In all, we walked about 13 to 15 miles a day. Easily. Oh it was such a pain. But we were blessed for it. Like I said we found 3 news because of it. Their names are Mrs. Brown, Ben, and Pier. We ran into Mrs. Brown as we were visiting her neighbor who is a less active and it turns out that she has met with missionaries in the past. She is older and is brown. After a few minutes of talking she said she had to get going and we set up to go see her on Saturday. That appointment fell through but we talked to her husband at the door and it turns out he is a preacher for a Lutheran church. He gave us his number and told us to call when we wanted to set up an appointment. We haven't called as of yet but I am super excited to call and talk to them! Ben is another new. We tracted into him. He is older and brown as well but loved talking to us. We brought up the Gilbert Temple and he said that he saw it on the news. ABC14 (ABC station up in Phoenix) did a special on it that was actually really good. He told us that it looked like a picture of a castle that someone plucked off the page and stuck on the ground. He said that it was the most GLORIOUS building he had ever seen. We are going back tomorrow to visit with him. It turns out there is an older couple in our ward that is going up to the open house later this week and asked if they could take him with them. So we are going to ask him if he would like to go up to that. I am super excited for him! And last but not least, Pier. Pier is in his mid 30's and black. We were walking into our apartment for lunch and we saw there 2 guys standing around next to a truck and trailer full of furniture. So we offered to help and they actually accepted! After we helped him move in, we got to talking about what we do as missionaries. We explained we were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that we share a message about Jesus Christ and how He can bless people’s lives. I asked if he was religious and he said kinda. I pursued that a little more and he said that he knew a lot about a lot of religions but not very much about Mormonism. I asked what church he was attending now and he said "We don't have a church right now. But we are looking for one." My heart leaped for joy! But I didn't think that that would be a good idea to do in front of him so I just smiled and said, "Well we might be able to help you with that." We swapped numbers and are set to meet up with him on Sunday. He said that he might come to church if we can get a ride for him. However, there is him, his wife, and 4 kids. So it might be a little difficult to get a ride but the Lord will provide! :)
So from what it looks like, my week has been all up's and no down's! I wish I could say that was so... While we were tracting, we ran into a couple working outside. We walked up and asked the guy if he needed any help working on some pipes that he was messing with and he said no. But then he stood up and started questioning us about why we were out there and what we were trying to accomplish. He threw down and called Joseph Smith a con-man and us servants of the devil. He said that even though our book quotes from the Bible, satan has to put in a little truth with all his lies or else no one would ever believe him. He questioned our priesthood and told us that if we didn't change our ways that we would be damned and burn in hell. Honestly, I almost started to laugh... I realized that it didn't matter what this guy threw at us or said or handed me to read. I know what I am out here doing is right. I know that this church is the EXACT same church that Jesus Christ set up on this earth Personally. And nothing this guy could say or do would ever change that. So that was a good experience for me! :)
That is about all that happened this week! I can't believe that I wrote that much in 30 minutes... Wow. I am getting pretty good at this whole typing thing! I am super excited to hear about Calvin! I want to see lots of pictures of my favorite nephew in the whole world! (My only as well! ha!) Thank you for your prayers and for the emails. I LOVE YOU!!!
~Elder Kyle Harris
p.s. Here is a cool quote I heard today in a song: "Why be a slave when you're meant to be free from this guilt?" I realized that people really can be and unfortunately are slaves to their guilt because they don't use the Atonement of Jesus Christ! Don't be a slave!!