Hello Family!!! Man, this week was just FULL!!! I loved all of it and have so much to say and so little time to write so I will just have to type fast!
Last Monday was a great p-day. We went hiking and I really burned my neck. But it is feeling much better now and my arms are super tan! We didn't do anything else special on Monday but relax.
Tuesday was "The Day". It is the mission wide exchange (within your zone) and you focus on one aspect of the work. This time we focused on how many people we invited. I was with Elder Van Noy. I love Van Noy!! He is a sign language missionary and has been out for about 18 months or so now. He actually served in the Palo Verde ward just over a year ago so it was really cool for him to see the people that he re-activated and old friends he had from the ward. The only down side to Tuesday was the fact that Sam, one of our investigators, found himself on an anti-mormon site or 2 and had LOTS of questions for us. Most of them were super tough to answer so we told him that we would have to get copies of the questions and look them up later so that we could give him complete answers, not just our opinions. Other than that, it was a great day!
Wednesday we had Zone meeting. We talked about making priorities and goals and how if we just have a short term goal then the long term goal we want to reach may not be able to be reached. It was really good and an eye opener for me. We met with Anita tonight. She is..... as quoted by 3 different people, "Scatterbrained". We are not sure if she is all there to be completely honest but she has a desire to learn. The problem is that when she asks us a question, we try to answer her and in the middle of the answer, she asks another question then gets mad that our answer doesn't match up with the second question that she asked. This happens a lot... On our way to the clubhouse for the lesson, we said hi to a few people but didn't actually stop, just waved as we passed by. And Anita flipped out! She claimed that we didn't actually want to meet with her and junk like that. So she stormed out of the lesson. So we started to walk back to our apartment and met a guy named Eli (I think). When Anita saw that we were fine with her leaving, she came back and tried to push her way into the conversation by asking really pressing questions like "Are you Mormon? Well why not??" It was really embarrassing. She told us before she really left that maybe sister missionaries would be better for her. So we invited them over yesterday to meet with her (I’ll tell that story in a bit...)
Thursday we got a call from a less-active member in our ward that no one has heard from for like 4 years. He said that he lost his job and his kids wanted to start going back to church. So on Friday, we went over and talked with him. He name is Lalo Paramo. He is married and has 3 kids: Lalo Jr is 17 and lives with his grandparents, their daughter is 13 and their other son is 10. When the younger kids came home from school, Lalo Sr. asked them "Hey do you guys want to get baptized??" "YYYYEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!" they yelled back! So we taught them the restoration and challenged them to read from the Book of Mormon as a family to which they accepted!! :)
Saturday was not good though.... Lalo Sr. called us and said that he would have to cancel his appointment because Lalo Jr. was in the Emergency Room in Intensive care. It turns out that Lalo Jr. was given some new drugs for his depression and he purposefully overdosed on them to take away his own life... It was really depressing to hear... We went to the hospital along with a member named brother Thomas. He knows the Paramo famliy very well. So we went over and only Lalo Sr. and Brother Thomas we allowed in to see him. After an hour or so, we left and couldn't get Lalo Jr. out of our minds. So we said lots of prayers for him! He was released on Sunday right after church. We went over as soon as we could and then us and the Paramo Family went to Lalo Sr.'s parents house where Lalo Jr. was staying. On our way, we were told that Lalo Jr. was having a mental break down... So we booked it over there and as soon as we showed up, the grandfather who had been comforting Lalo Jr. felt like he was starting to get a heart attack due to his stress level. So we got him away from Lalo Jr. and 4 of us picked him up off the floor and carried him inside and laid him on his bed where he couldn't settle down and couldn't stop crying. All of the family came in and tried to cheer him up but nothing worked... He was just as distressed as before. His grandmother came in saying, "Stop it this instant or I'm taking you back to the Hospital where you belong!" That's when we jumped in. We explained that we had the same priesthood that Jesus Christ had on the earth when he was here and that we could help people heal just as Christ did as long as it is God's will. Lalo's Parents quickly said yes so we gave him a blessing. I anointed and Elder Mora sealed and gave him the blessing. When I was anointing, Lalo Jr. went from crying and shaking to quiet and gently rocking. Then Mora proceeded to give the blessing and he stopped crying completely and just laid there in total peace. The Spirit was so strong when we finished the blessing. He sat up and hugged all of his family members one by one and they all cried tears of Joy that things were going to be better. Both grandparents then asked us for blessings as well for his heart to stop hurting and for her stress to go away. Those blessings were very powerful too. Lalo Jr. got into some normal clothes and just talked with him for like 45 minutes. He explained that he has been going through a lot and didn't know where to turn to. We asked if he'd like to learn about the power we blessed him with and how Christ can help him out. He said yes! It was such a powerful experience for me to be apart of. I realized something as well, we are the only church that has the Priesthood. The ONLY one! And yet sometimes we are at church and take the sacrament without even realizing how lucky we are to be apart of such an AMAZING ordinance. There is no reason that the Spirit can't be in our sacrament meetings as powerfully as It is in the Temples. At church we are making very special promises just like we do in the temple. At church we have the chance to be enlightened by the Spirit just like we can in the Temple. Of course there are differences between the two of them but there shouldn't be a difference in our hearts when we go to church and when we go to the Temple. Church can be the greatest 3 hours of our week if we allow it to be. So why don't we...? I don't have an answer for that.. But I do know this, that we are privileged to be able to be apart of this church. And if we take the time to prepare ourselves to go to church as much as we prepare ourselves to go to the Temple that we can have an experience that words cannot describe.
Sunday night we got calls... President was calling... If the Zone Leaders text you then that means that you aren't getting transferred. If the Assistants to the President call you that means that you are not getting stepped up into a leadership position, just transferred out. If President calls, that means that you are getting transferred AND stepped up into a leadership position. Guess who called.... I answered and heard "Elder Harris, this is President Killpack. How are you doing?" He asked to be put onto speaker. He started with Elder Mora. "Elder Mora. The Lord would like you to be a District Leader in the El Rio Spanish Branch in the West Zone. How do you feel about that?" ELDER MORA IS A DISTRICT LEADER!!! I laughed at him thinking that I just got out of stepped up!.... my laughing was interrupted when President said, "Elder Harris, The Lord would like you to be a District Leader in the Palo Verde in the East Zone. How do you feel about that?" I said that I would love to then we got of the phone. We went CRAZY!!! So yes, I am a District Leader. :) I am super nervous about it but I can't wait to see how things go!
Monday was spent on goodbye's for Elder Mora. We were out till 10:30 p.m. before we even left for home to start packing. I couldn't just sleep while Elder Mora stayed up and packed. So I stayed up with him. Our ride showed up at 5:30 a.m... I fell asleep for about 30 minutes between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m. It was so much fun but it was a long night... BUT DID YOU SEE THAT MOON!?!?!?! It was an eclipse!!! So I went out every 15 to 20 minutes and just watched the shadow of the earth slowly cover the moon! I got lots of pictures!! It was a blood moon too so in the pictures its red. :) It was beautiful!! I am really going to miss Elder Mora but I can't wait for my new companion. He was coming from the Gila Valley so he didn't show up till like 3. We played basketball and played around and just hung out till he showed up. His name is Elder Siglin. He is 21 and from Rochester, New York. He's been out for 9 months, just 1 transfer less than me. He is about 6' 3" but really skinny. He isn't like Xander skinny but he's not big like me. ;) He likes to play basketball for fun, not necessarily for competition. He also loves making chain mail! He made a glove and a sweet bracelet AND A TIE!!!! It is super legit! :) I am super stoked for the transfer!!
Today is obviously Wednesday which means that I gave my first training. I found out what I was going to be training on yesterday and stayed up till about 11 last night preparing. It was on "Unity With Your Companionship in Teaching". For my demonstration about unity, I went into the gym and had Elder Alston come into the middle with me. I told him that I was going to get him the ball and do his thing but he couldn't know the plan. So he took off and totally missed the pass. It was on the other side of the gym... So we got back on the line and told him we were going to change the play cause that last one didn't work. So he took off running and I tried to hand the ball off to the person behind me but he wasn't there. For the 3rd time I told him the play and he ran out and caught the pass. I explained that if we don't go into a lesson with the same mentality or goals in mind then we can't succeed. So we talked about things we can do before the lesson and during the lesson to help us have more unity in our companionship. I showed some examples from the Preach My Gospel DVD's that helped us see what the difference is when we are unified. For our role play, Elder Siglin and I were teaching about the Book of Mormon to Elder Maughen (M-on) who was pretending to be an investigator. The catch was to help us pay attention to what our companion was saying that Elder Maughen would snap his fingers and the other person would have to pick up right where the first person stopped, even if it was mid sentence. It was a great demonstration. Then I had them role play that same thing too with each other. It was awesome!! It went much better than I anticipated. :) Maybe this wont be too bad!
Well that is about everything that has happened this week! We have less than a month till we get to Skype!! 3 weeks and 4 days. That is only 25 days away!! I think that I might can wait that long. :) I love you all so much!!! I can't wait to hear from you again soon!!
~Elder Kyle Harris
p.s. If you can get me Alisha Sheely's email or address that would be way sweet :) love ya!