Hello, Hello, and Hello. Welcome to this weeks presentation of "The Not-So-Mind-Blowing Mission Life of Elder Harris". I know I say this every week but It just seems like time doesn't ever slow down. Mom can attest to that too. From all her emails, it seems like life at home is just as busy as life out here! We are always running around and rarely have time to think about what day it is. I woke up on Saturday thinking it was Thursday. Like I legitimately got up and started making our progress record for the missionary correlation meeting we have every Thursday at 4 with Bishop Grant. Elder Gilson came in and just laughed cause he thought it was only Wednesday! We had to look at the Calendar and date on the phone to find out what day it really was! Talk about a weird way to come back to reality... By the way, this last Friday I believe was "Talk Like a Pirate Day". If you missed it, you better take advantage of it sometime this week instead!
Thank you all for your emails! I love hearing from everyone about their week and what's been going on. Let's start with Connor. You asked me a few questions buddy and I am going to do my best to answer them with interesting facts and such. You asked me what we do in our spare time. We don't have a whole lot of spare time. But when we do, we sometimes go out and mess around with the goats, read a book, or go over to Grandma Despain's and just talk and laugh with her! What is it like on a mission? It is honestly not a whole lot different than what you are used to at home. Except, your soccer practice and homework after school is like our studies every morning. And instead of going to school and being taught, we go out to peoples home and teach them. Obviously it's not about math or science but it's about Christ, why He came here, what He did, and of course about Joseph Smith. How often do we get fed dinner? Every. Single. Night. It is the greatest! It is like coming home to mom's cooking and always something to look forward too! There haven't been really any weird or interesting things I've eaten luckily. I had Menudo soup in East Tucson. That was actually pretty weird. In simplest terms, it is just cow stomach soup... They take the lining of the stomach and cut it up into small squares and put it into a soup. Kinda gross to think about.. But not extremely bad actually! They also have cow tongue burrito's that I'm thinking about trying but we'll see what happens with that. :P How many people do we talk to a day? Well are you talking about contacting about the Gospel or just talk to. We try to contact at least 10 people every day about the Gospel. You wouldn't think that 10 is that many but it is actually kinda hard to bring up the Gospel in a cool, calm, and collective way without being too forward or intrusive. Sometimes I just say, "I'm trying to think of a way to tie Jesus Christ into the conversation but I can't think of how to relate Him with _____________(whatever it is that we are talking about. I have actually had to use 'Flying Elephants' in that empty space...)." Then I just use that and go into their relationship with Christ. ;) How is soccer going? I heard you had a terrible ref for one of your games! I HATE BAD REFS!!!! Oh I get so frustrated at them.... Mom told me about most of what happened and I was getting pretty fumed just sitting here in over 500 miles away! Haha. I am super excited to hear some of your music! Will you send me a few of the songs or like intro's to the songs so I can show them off to the other missionaries? Please?! :) Lastly, how was your birthday?! What did you get for presents? Did you like the things that I sent you? I LOVE that soccer tie! I wore it every day of the world cup that the US played and then for all of the finals games I wore it too. I hope that you like it! I love you buddy! Thank you for your email!
Gavin, my stud of a brother. Life sounds just as busy for you as it does for everyone else in the family! Working at JDawgs sounds like a pretty fun place to work! Do you like your co-workers? What is it that you do there exactly? What happened to becoming a male model? I have been telling everyone out here that this is your goal! :P I can't believe that you are finally dating... I still think of you as 14 years old but now you can drive, date, and are in high school. You are a junior this year, right? Crazy... That girl you took on your date for a dance it looks like is pretty cute. What is her name? Are you single dating anyone in particular or just group dating a lot of different girls? I hope that it's the latter one! Remember, just because you are dating them doesn't mean you need to kiss them all!! You will have songs dedicated to you like "Heart Breaker" by Taio Cruz or something like that. Don't have lots of girl friends, just have lots of friends that are girls. :) You are still the manager for the girls tennis team? How are your own skills doing with tennis? Still good enough to be state champion like your older brother in soccer?! I say still cause you have been good enough before, I just don't know if you still are. Thank you for your letter buddy! I love you!!
Syd and Dave, you have the cutest son I have ever seen!! (That is, next to mom and dad's oldest son. I'm talking about me of course!) Haha! You are moving again? This is like your second or third time since I've been out! Is it just because you need more room for Calvin to move around and play in? I heard that the view from your new place is pretty much amazing! See if you can get a good picture of it and send it to me! What did your old apartment look like? I don't even know. Has Calvin started walking on his own yet? What about talking? His first words better be "Would you like to hear more about Jesus Christ?" Teach him those now and it will be easier to get him out on a mission in 18 years. ;) I guess that "Elder Harris" or "Uncle Elder Harris" wouldn't be too bad either! Where are you working now David? Or do you get to stay home and watch Calvin while Syd is teaching her class? Speaking of which, how is your class this year Syd? What is the theme of your room? Do you keep the same theme for the entire year or are you going to switch it out halfway through to kinda keep things interesting? I think mom said that you were the team lead for your team of teachers! True? False? Stressful? Easy? Do tell! I love you and hope you move in quickly and efficiently and stress free to your new home!
Mom and Dad, I love you guys so much!!! You don't realize how much I appreciate the time and effort you spent on me making sure that I was cared for and loved and safe all my life. I saw a Mormon Message about the role of a father and everything that he (and the mother of course) do to make their kids happy. Then it moved from that into our Father in Heaven and how much he really does for us too. It just humbled me a lot to know that you guys loved me all those years that I didn't know what to do with myself or with those around me. So thank you! :) How are your classes this year? What are your themes? Dad, why is it again that you don't have to go in till like 9:30 every day? That sounds like a pretty nice break! I can't believe that you are letting the boys beat you that bad at ping pong!! I have been practicing here and there out here too and I have definitely lost some skill... But my serve is still just as good as ever so that's a good sign! I'm glad that you guys liked my package. Did you guys get my package to Xander yet? Mom, I've had those necklaces and bracelets in my stuff since my 9 month mark. I have been waiting for a good time to send them home to you but decided that it would just make a nice random gift too! You don't have to wear them but I got a pretty good deal for all of those for about $15 or $20 or something like that. I love you guys so much! Thank you again for the emails. :)
This week was a pretty busy one but trying to remember everything that happened isn't as easy as it sounds. :P Tuesday night we went to the Fort Thomas building with the Sister Missionaries for a Relief Society Enrichment night. It was titled "Mission Possible" and was focused on getting food and other necessities for the missionaries in their ward. They asked us as well to bring the sisters. So of course I'm super pumped cause that means that we won't have to go shopping that upcoming Monday! We show up and eat dinner with them and then I realize that everyone is writing letters to other missionaries. I look over at the wall and see 7 names with addresses under their names. All 7 of them are missionaries that are serving FROM their ward and this enrichment night was all about THEM, not us. Haha! Talk about a humbling moment! We stood up and shared a message with the sisters then sat down for the closing prayer. The Relief Society President stood up and thanked everyone for coming then explained that most of the missionaries out in the field can't receive packages so the 2 big boxes full of food that they received were for us and the sisters to take home. That was another humbling experience. I learned how much I really think about myself and then when I put the other missionaries from that ward first, they did what I had expected them to do at first, but I wasn't expecting it when it actually happened! It made that moment a lot sweeter and a lot more meaningful for me!
Wednesday we had a crazy storm!!! It poured all night Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. They evacuated Cluff Ranch because of major anticipated flooding. They were afraid that the dam was going to break and wash all of Cluff Ranch away. We were also told that the river was going to flood and our house was on the other side of that river. No major damage would be done from the River Flooding but once it does flood, it doesn't go down for hours! And the worst part is the other road to get to our house was already flooded so we needed to decide whether we were going to continue working and sleep somewhere else instead of at home or sleep at home and stop working for the night. It was only about 5 in the afternoon and we decided to keep working and that the Lord would provide for us. Sure enough, He did. The river didn't flood but it was really really high! The highest it's been in over 20 years actually. The rain was VERY much needed and it was a HUGE blessing for everyone out here. Everyone except for the cotton farmers I guess. Well, kinda them too. The cotton looked really good this year and that storm could have potentially over watered and damaged their cotton. But that is what insurance is for. So they will get all their money from the insurance they would have gotten from their fields, then they will go out and pick the cotton and sell it anyway and make even more money. It was kinda a scary day to drive in actually but we said lots of prayers and the Lord protected and cared for us. :)
Thursday we went to the Temple!!! Reece Jarvis is a member we have been working with for 3 or 4 months now. He is 20, almost 21 and very active in the church. He went out on his mission but came home after only 3 months to finish some things up. So we have been bringing him out with us to do missionary work to make sure he was ready to go back out into the field. Well, he sent in his papers again and was told that he was leaving Monday to go back to Oregon for his mission!! I don't mean next Monday, I mean he left today! They gave him less than a week's notice!! So we talked to President Passey and he allowed us to go to the Temple one last time with Reece before he left. Last night (this being Sunday that we are talking about) he stopped by to say his goodbye's. We got some pictures with him and each gave him a tie to take with him out to Oregon. I am really going to miss him but I am very excited for him to get back out there and serve the Lord fully! The Temple was great of course! I received quite a few more answers to some questions I had and received revelation/insight on a lot of cool things in Moses chapters 3 and 4. :) Also on Thursday we went to the adoption for the Boswell's. They adopted the 4 kids that have been living with them for the past almost 2 years! It was such a great day for them and the rest of the family. There has been so much stress and anxiety and sadness accompanied with this adoption. But all of that is nothing compared to the joy and happiness and love that comes from being a family! It really made me appreciate how grateful I am for you guys being in my family! :)
Friday was just a normal day. Nothing big happened. I don't really remember what happened on Friday so I hope nothing big happened. :P
Saturday we went to a Less-Actives house to help them with their roof. They added onto their house but need to put shingles on it. So we went up onto the roof with them and shingled for about 2 hours or so! I loved it! I love being able to do manly service like that!! And of course, We had the Baptism of 10 year old Miss Tori Boswell!! It was so great!!! We had over 50 people there! It doesn't sound like a ton but we had people standing in the back because we didn't have enough room for more chairs! It was a long program though. You could tell that by the end of it, people were ancy to get up and get moving around, especially the kids. But still very spiritual and very emotional. Elder Charles (one of Tori's old missionaries that taught her a year ago that got transferred back to the Gila Valley) and I got to be the witnesses while her new father baptized her! Then Elder Charles and I turned around and gave the 5 minute teaching moment which basically means that while Tori and her father were getting changed, we shared a message (we chose the Restoration of the Gospel) with the people there. It was great to teach with a missionary that has experience teaching and loves being in front of crowds as much as I do. Elder Gilson isn't a bad teacher but he didn't do very much teaching in the Deaf Branch and didn't learn how to teach in English. So it was fun to be apart of that! I got lots of pictures that I will attach and send with this email. :)
Sunday, Elder Gilson started to feel really sick... He got a fever, super runny nose, sore throat, and a pretty bad head ache. We left church early and came home so he could get some rest. Once we got home, he got really really cold. We didn't know what it was so we just gave him some Tylenol and Melatonin to help him sleep. He asked for a blessing and I couldn't say no. But no one else could come and help give that blessing. This was the first time I've ever given a blessing on my own so it was a different experience for me. In the blessing, he was told that he wouldn't be healed right away until he learned the lesson that was needed of him to learn. He was also told that he would be given the gift of discernment so that he would know what it is that all of the people we are working with need. That is a scary line to me because that means that I am most likely leaving... :/
Transfers are this upcoming week. I don't know if I will get that package before transfers cause they hold mail the week before transfers. This also means that until I get my new address, please send everything to the mission office at:
939 West Chapala Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85704
Thank you so much for all of your emails and for the prayers in my behalf! I love you more than you could ever imagine and pray for you every night! Say your prayers, read your scriptures, and never lose sight of our end goal!
~Elder Kyle Harris