Hello everyone and all! Every day went by so fast but the week itself seems to be a lot slower than usual. It was actually kinda nice having things slow down. They didn't slow down for a good reason necessarily but it did slow down! We had a lot of miracles happen this week! I can't wait to share them with you! :) So it all started last Sunday. I remember telling you that Elder Gilson was sick last Sunday and we eventually left church early because he didn't feel good at all... Well Monday he was feeling a lot better and we played sports with everyone and it was great!... all until we got to dinner. Elder Gilson, right after he finished eating, went into the bathroom and threw it all back up... He wasn't better. So we went home that night without visiting anyone else. Tuesday was just as bad, except I got it too. So Tuesday we stayed home ALL DAY! I think we left twice to get cold medicine and mail. It was terrible! I hate being sick. Wednesday was the same way. We went out to district meeting but then went home and rested all day afterwards. Sister Passey, our mission president's wife told us not to leave our apartment unless we absolutely had to just to make sure we get better. Thursday was better though. We were able to get out and work and such but I didn't bring my old planner with me so I don't really remember what we did that day. I remember Elder George wanted to go on exchanges with us but we had so many appointments that both Elder Gilson and I needed to be there for so we couldn't do it. :( Saturday was the same way too.
Friday was good. We went to Tucson for my appointment with Dr. Johnson. We talked it out and agreed that the 20 mg pills that I've been taking are really working well for me and I am just going to keep on those for a while till I feel comfortable going down to 15 mg. Just as we were going into the appointment, Sister Passey asked us how we were feeling. We told her we were feeling better but that we weren't completely well yet. She asked us to call her once we got done with the appointment and let her know why we weren't feeling well still. We called afterwards and explained that we had rested like she commanded us to and that we still just had sore throats and stuffy noses but nothing too bad. Turns out this virus has been going around quite a bit in the mission. Hopefully, it won't come back to us after it gets around to everyone else. While we were on the phone, she asked how my appointment went with Dr. Johnson. I told her it went well and what we decided with the medication. Then she asked us where we were and what our plans were. We were on our way to lunch but asked us if she wanted us to be somewhere else instead first. She said that President wanted to talk to us and asked us to come in... (you know when someone get's called down to the principals office how everyone in the class goes "OOOOOOOOOO someone’s in trouble!!" Insert that here for my thoughts when she asked us to come in...) So we show up and President asks both Elder Gilson and I to come in and visit with him. Instead of talking to us about things we've done wrong or what we want to happen with transfers, he asked us about our area. He wanted to know about everyone that we were working with, their progress, how we found them, and things we would do to improve our area. We talked for about 30 minutes about everyone we're working with and our successes and such. He congratulated us on our hard work and told us that he knew good things we just around the corner for our area. He looked at us for a few moments in silence and asked us if we wanted to know what was going to happen with transfers. We laughed a cautious laugh and both thought he was joking. Elder Gilson gave him a confused look and asked, "Wait, you really would tell us?" "Ya. Ii won't tell you about anyone else but I'll tell you what's happening with you two." I was going to play it off like I didn't want to know and could just wait for transfer calls but then I realized how big of an opportunity this actually was so we said we'd love to know. "You're both staying." he said to us. WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GET TO STAY ANOTHER ONE OUT HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I truly didn't want to leave! And both Elder Gilson and I got the answer to our prayer that we had been hoping for! He asked Elder Gilson to step out and give me and himself some alone time. When Gilson left, President asked me to be a district leader again. I was a little shocked but said that I would love to. He told me about my new district and a few more people from the Gila Valley that were leaving. Elder George was one of the ones getting transferred... Turns out, he's going to the Palo Verde ward, that's my old area!! I'm super excited for him but I am really going to miss him... So there isn't a whole lot different with me and transfers. We are staying together and I'm a District Leader again. :)
Saturday was AWESOME!!! The funniest thing happened out in Bylas, as well as an amazing miracle. We went out to Bylas with a Priest named Laynce Black. He is 16 and never been out with the missionaries before. We figured that Bylas was the best place to take him because that was where we had the most work out in the Fort Thomas area. We decided to visit Darwin Dillion first. He is a less-active member and only about 22 or 23 years old. He is living with his girl friend and has a 1 year old son with her. When we showed up, he was outside on his porch packing his backpack with clothes and shoes.... He was packing up to leave for good... we talked with him for about an hour. You could smell the alcohol on his breath and on his clothes. He was very drunk obviously and was fighting with his girl friend. After we talked with him, we walked passed her and she thanked us for coming over and talking with him. Turns out, it is his drinking that is causing all of their problems. Sounds familiar unfortunately... Anyway, we asked him if he wanted a blessing and he said yes but wanted to keep talking first. The only problem was his friend kept coming up and interrupting us asking Darwin to tell him where something was. Based on the clues I picked up and the places that he kept saying to look, I think his friend was looking for some drugs, specifically weed... It drove away the Spirit every time he interrupted because Darwin would start thinking about where he was hiding his stuff instead of thinking about godly things. Darwin finally stood up for himself and asked his friend not to ask him anymore cause he was wanting to listen to what we had to say. About that time is when he asked us to give him the blessing. Elder Gilson voiced and I participated. In the blessing, Elder Gilson told him that God did not want him to leave and that his girlfriend and child needed him there. When we finished, he walked inside to start unpacking his bag. That's when his girl friend thanked us. His friend that had been interrupting was getting into a car and about ready to leave. I whistled him down and ran over to him. He was nervous to talk to me but I didn't care. I asked him how good of friends he was with Darwin. He told me that he was good friends and had known him for a while. I explained that if he truly was Darwin's friend that he would help him out right now. I told him that Darwin needed to get off of alcohol and drugs but that we couldn't be here everyday to make sure that he stayed away and clean from that stuff. I looked him in the eye and told him that he needed to be there for Darwin, to keep him sober and make sure that he didn't try to leave again. The Spirit was strong and I knew that this kid recognized me as a representative of Jesus Christ. He said that he would try to do better and thanked me for coming over and helping Darwin. What an awesome miracle that we were able to show up right as he was about to leave and that we helped him see that God didn't want him to leave.
All of our next appointments fell through and we were just about on our way to head home. That's when we remembered Keith Pike, our deaf investigator. We stopped by his house but he wasn't home. Laynce asked why we felt like we needed to come here if he wasn't home. We just told him that God has a purpose for everything and that we needed to come back here for some reason. on our way back to the highway, we found our reason. We were just about to get onto the highway when we saw one of our investigators, Shawnie Bullis, walking down the street. We hadn't seen Shawnie in a few weeks and so we pulled up next to her and got out to talk with her. Unfortunately, she was smashed... She was super drunk and wet from the rain and just not in good condition. She told us about how she fell asleep under a bridge the other night and how everyone told her it was a super dangerous area where she could be really hurt. She wanted to prove them wrong and fell asleep out there that night. Nothing bad happened all night long. She was drunk when she fell asleep and then got up and drank that morning too. She went on and on about how she was so brave for sleeping out there and a few other things that I didn't understand cause she started mixing in Apache words with her english ones. After about 20 minutes, we told herwe needed to get going. She sunk her head down but finally allowed us to go in peace. Well, kid of. She gave Laynce an awkward hug and said something to the point of, see you soon. Then she turned to Elder Gilson and I and gave us a very creepy, flirtatious smile and said, "Oh but I can't wait to see you two again!" Quick background about Shawnie. She is not married but has like 3 kids. She is in her mid 60's and has about 7 or 8 grandkids too. So she walked up to me first and threw her arms up into the air and gave me the biggest hug I've received my whole mission! That wasn't the awkward part though. She then stuffed her face into my body and snuggled her nose into my neck to get nice and close to me... I thought I felt her hands giong down my back and so I quickly pulled away from her. She still didn't let me go... Instead of holding me in her arms, she just slid her hands down my arms and grabbed my hands. Then she just giggled for a little girl for what seemed like forever! After a few seconds, I decided to start counting how long she would hold my hand for. 2 minutes and 47 seconds... After she finally let go, she walked over to Elder Gilson and practically fell into his arms. He had to catch her to make sure that she didn't fall down! She did the same thing as she did with me, digging her face into his chest and snuggling her nost into his neck. He left her stay there a little longer than I did but eventually had to pull himself away from her too. She slid her hands down his arms and grabbed his hand and once again started giggling. We told he that we really needed to get going. She agreed and so we said goodbye and started walked back to the truck. The only problem was she was still holding Elder Gilson's hand. He looked back to say something to her but before he could say anything, she lifted his hand up to her lips... and kissed it! SHE KISSED HIS HAND!!! He ripped it away from her and quickly made his way over to his seat. We all rushed into the car and drove away faster than I ever drove away from an investigator! Elder Gilson was white as a ghost and didn't say anything the rest of the trip back to Fort Thomas. It was SOOOOO funny!!! We still make jokes about it and he says that he can still feel her old lips touching the back of his hand! HAHA!!!
Sunday taught the 11 and 12 year old Sunday School class. They LOVED us! For most of it, Elder Gilson and I told them stories from out missions and they all sat so reverently and listened very intently. We even told them the story about Shawnie kissing his hand! It was pretty much one of the best classes and lessons I've had my whole mission. In Pima 1st Ward, it was the Primary Program. I love the primary program!! They sang one of my new favorite songs, "Gethsemane" from the children's song book. It is such an awesome song! Elder Gilson and I also had the opportunity to participate in it. The kids sang the song "I Stand All Amazed" while one group of kids and ourselves signed it. I didn't think I knew it well enough to perform but it was awesome! I'm learning so much sign language out here! I hope I can keep it up! :) That night we decided to stop by the Wittenbrakers. We had an awesome lesson with them about sins and mistakes and how to become better from those mistakes. We showed them the Mormon message "The Prodigal Son". It hit home for Chad, the father, specifically. He realized that even though he isn't perfect, The Lord still loves him. He asked us for a blessing which we quickly agreed to do. Elder Gilson again voiced and I participated. I don't remember anything that was said but I do remember Chad crying because the Spirit touched him so strongly. I am truly learning to love as Christ loves, especially for the Wittenbraker family!
We also got 2 new investigators yesterday. Their names are Sandra and Nick Alvarado. They are in their late 20's or early 30's and totally prepared for the Gospel. They were a referral from Sandra's grandmother who is a returning member to the church. We were talking with them about their expectations from us, our expectations for them and what our purpose was as missionaries. We talked a lot about families and that really touched Sandra, to the point where she started to cry. It was awesome! Elder Gilson felt the Spirit really strong too and invited them to be baptized on November the 1st. They sad yes!!! This is truly the Lord's work and He is really preparing people for His Gospel message!
Well I am out of time but I want you to know that I love you and I miss you. Enjoy conference, take lots of notes, and apply the messages you learn immediately so we can be prepared for everything the Lord has in store for us!
~Elder Kyle Harris