Hello everyone! I don't have a ton of time unfortunately to email today cause we went on an awesome hike to come caves this morning and that took up almost all of our time... They are called the Coronado Caves I think. Basically, there is just a big whole in the side of the mountain and as you go deeper, it opens up into a GIANT cave! There are lots of tunnels and other little areas you can go from that big room but we mostly stayed there as a zone. It was actually really cool cause most of the people in our zone are musical and love to sing! And the shape of the cave is similar to the shape of the tabernacle in Salt Lake so you can hear everything in there! The acoustics are amazing! So we all gathered around in a big circle and for about 20 or 30 minutes we just sang songs. We started off with like "Come, Come Ye Saints" and just kept things going. We also said the song "Hallelujah" by Rufas Wainright and the some Disney songs that popped into peoples heads. It was AWESOME!!! It sounded so good (most of the time) and I recorded the whole thing! You can't see anything though cause it was pitch black inside of the cave and we asked that everyone turn off their lights for singing.
I love my area. Elder McKenna is my best friend already! We have the exact same personality basically and that is really helpful for me! Now I don't have to change myself too much! Well, except in the good ways that a mission always changes you. :) Our area is pretty big and pretty ghetto. But we are totally safe and people loves us and respect us for what we do so don't worry about me! It's like 3 times safer than central Tucson. We have been doing a lot of service for an active family in the ward, the Froehlich's (like from the F.U.N. song from Spongebob when he says "F is for Frolicking through all the flowers). They have re-done the entire inside of their house from the floors to cabinets to the walls and everything in-between! We have helped her do a lot of painting and she asked me to be in charge of the base boards. That is really nice for me cause it is mathematical and I got to use a table saw! It worked out well :) I only messed up a few times but nothing that harmed me or anyone else or cost them anymore money luckily. So it totally worked out for the best!
We are also working with an investigator named Terrick. He is about 21 and just under 6 feet tall. But his big black afro makes him like 6 ft 3 in! He is African American and has completely changes his life around 180 degrees already! He has a past of drugs and spent some time in jail for getting into an argument with his girl friend who called the cops and said that he hit her. I don't know if he did or not but if so, she woulda had a big bruise cause Terrick is a UFC fighter! And he can bust out a rap like it's nobodies business! Anyway, he had been taught from Elder McKenna and Elder Cunningham a few times before and had even accepted a baptismal date for Dec. 6th. But we realized that he had no clue who Joseph Smith was. So we taught him the Restoration yesterday and it was a great lesson!! We have all our lessons at a members home named the McKnight's. They have basically adopted Terrick into their family without the paperwork involved. The parents both served in the same mission somewhere and that's where they met. They both have very strong testimonies, as do their 6 boys. So it is an awesome place for Terrick to be! Anyway, they all bore very powerful testimonies and the Spirit was very strong! We recommitted him to be baptized on the 6th of December and he is super excited for it! We also taught him about the Word of Wisdom and he committed to live that too. After the lesson, sister McKnight made cake so we call got some cake and sat around the table. Terrick asked Elder McKenna and myself if he could talk to us outside for a little bit in private. Kinda nervous and hesitant, we said yes and stepped outside. This is what he said to us:
"The other night I was out with my brother (who is 16) and some of his friends. Everyone except me was drinking, including the driver. The driver was the only other person besides me who was over 17 and she just barely turned 18. Well we were driving around and heading to a party but they wanted to get more alcohol. So we stopped at some girls house to get more alcohol and I just had an overwhelming impression that I needed to go home. So I asked the driver if she would take me home on the way to the party. She dropped me and my friend, Ty, off at my place and we just chilled the rest of the night at home. Well, about 5 minutes after they left my house, they got pulled over. My little brother and all his friends that were under 18 got arrested and taken home. The girl though, because she was 18, got arrested and is in jail tonight for drinking while under the influence and supplying minors with alcohol. Elders, if I had been in that car last night, I would be in jail right now too. But the Spirit of God talked to me last night and He kept me safe. I know it was Him. And that's why I know that what you are teaching me is true." I almost cried when he told us that! I went up and gave him a big bear hug cause of how proud I was for him!! I explained to him that he is what we call a "Golden Investigator" and what that meant. Brother McKnight later that night told me that Terrick isn't a "Golden Investigator"... He is a "PLATINUM Investigator"!! And it is so true!! I love him to death! I know he is going to get baptized! I just hope I'm here to witness it! :)
I did get my bike fixed by the way. I had a really bent chain and needed a new set of back gears. It only cost me about a total of $75. But the cool thing is that I got this bike for free from the mission. So I can sell it for like $100 and that will benefit both me and the missionary who buys it cause it is an expensive bike and has disk brakes and solid rubber tires that can never go flat! But we'll see what happens. :)
I’m very glad that you guys are safe coming down that mountain!! Don't scare me like that again, deal? That wasn't cool at all! it could have been a lot worse so I'm glad that the Lord answered your prayers! :) And who knows, maybe there was something up ahead that was in the road like a moose or something that you would have hit if you kept going down. That would have been worse than sliding into the ditch for sure! There is a blessing in it somewhere, you just have to keep looking for it! :) That cabin sounds very nice! I didn't even know we had a cabin, or that David had a cabin! Maybe I'll have my movie marathons up there when I get home!
Sorry this email isn't super amazing or long but I just wanted you all to know that I love you very much and I miss you more than you know! I pray for all of you that are included in this email that the Lord will continue to bless you with health and strength and guidance every night! Don't forget who you are and what you stand for!
~Elder Kyle Harris
p.s. The Phoenix Temple Dedication was this last Sunday. It was AWESOME! President Monson gave a talk then the dedicatory prayer. In his talk though, he said something to the point of "and soon we have Thanksgiving coming up. Oooo! Turkey dinner!!" then continued on with his talk! I laughed out loud when he said that and still laugh as I think of him saying it! Oooo! Turkey Dinner!!