Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Hello my favorite and most amazing family in the whole world!! (And the best friends too!) Welcome to this weeks email! :)

I don't really know what to say to start off. My mind is a little frazzled right now. It's weird for me to think that it is already my birthday... Christmas has come and gone and in 3 days it will be 2015!! I just bought a PowerAde at the gas station and it expires after I get home from my mission!


But this week was a great one! Elder Deyarmond is coming up to be one of my favorite companions! He's super funny and outgoing and loves to get out and work! We haven't been super busy though because the people we are working with were out of town for the Christmas holiday. Debbie is about 65 and loves to talk to missionaries! She was talking to missionaries at one point in the past but then dropped them cause she didn't believe it. Not long after she dropped them, she had an aneurysm and was in the hospital for a long time. When she got out, she called us up and said that she wanted to start listening to us and that it was a sign from God. She has been pretty sick this last week with a major headache and other things I guess so she hasn't been available to meet but we will be meeting on Wednesday with her and will start with the first lesson.

We are also working with a part member family. I told you about them last week. Jared Taylor is a single father raising 3 little girls. Vanessa is 9 (almost 10), Alessandra is 8, and Mira Bell is 6. They are the cutest little girls, especially Mira Bell! Their mother passed away less than 2 months ago. As we were praying to know what to talk to them about, I was thinking "The Plan of Salvation" the whole time but Elder Deyarmond felt like we should to the Restoration. So we taught the Restoration this week and we wanted to help them understand why Joseph Smith was needed and why the Gospel needed to be restored. So we played the game "Telephone" where you whisper one thing into someone's ear then it gets passed around and when it gets to the end, it's changed! Sometimes it's not a major difference but sometimes it was a very major change! The girls LOVED it and totally understood the point we were getting across. They liked it so much, they wanted to play another 4 or 5 times. :P They all came to church too so that's great! :) Next week we will be teaching the Plan of Salvation!

Christmas was FANTASTIC!!!! Talking to you all was absolutely amazing!! :) That was my favorite Christmas present!! Sister Froehlich let us use her phones to make the calls so if you want to text her and tell her thank you, I think that would be very appropriate. She is also throwing me a birthday party tonight! I didn't ask her to, she just took it upon herself being the amazing person that she is. She invited the McKnights, a great family in the ward, to join us as well. I am very, VERY thankful for the garments you sent me! Those were very much needed. :) We received LOTS of snacks and candy from members as well as 2 ties each! They are great ties too so that's always a plus! ;)

I saw one of the best things ever so far in my mission. Sean Connolly is a man that I've talked a little bit about in previous emails. But I talk about a lot of people so a refresher is probably in order. Sean Connolly is a 23 year old gent that I used to work with in East Tucson. He was less-active and dating a non-member who wasn't bringing him any closer to the church. He had so many questions and theories and they were all very interesting and pretty amazing actually that someone could notice the stars movement and relate it to the Gospel like he did. It was awesome to hear though! Anyway, not long after I got transferred, he moved down into Elfrida. Never heard of it? Neither has anyone else. He described it saying, "If you are driving and drop something on the floorboards of your truck and bend down to pick it up, you'll drive right through without even noticing." Talk about small town. Anyway, I've been hearing really good things are happening with him and he called me yesterday saying he was in Sierra Vista and wanted to see how I was doing. So we met up. Sean used to be 5'9" or so and weigh about 230 lbs or so along with a big ole', grungy beard. When I saw him, he had dropped about 30 lbs and clean shaven so close, it was "smoother than a baby's bottom. And smelled better too!" (The Little Rascals) He looked GREAT!! He said that he just gave his first talk in church and had moved from the dinky apartment in east Tucson that was smaller than the place we were living in over there, to a very nice 4 bedroom home in Elfrida! He had his mother move in with him and since then had brought both her and his aunt back to the church too! And best of all, he, his mother, and his aunt are all in the Temple Prep class and only have 2 more classes before they'll be ready to go to the Temple for their endowments!! Then he said this "Elder Harris, do you want to know what got me coming back to church? While I was in east Tucson, a missionary burned me a cd with 2 talks on it." I smiled and had to hold back tears as he continued. "Those 2 conversion stories you gave me, especially the Glen Beck one, is what made me want to go back to church. That cd and those talks that you gave me, saved me." Then he grabbed me with his huge bear arms and hugged me. I don't know how I didn't cry but I didn't, not in front of him at least. He says that he got his Patriarchal Blessing and in it, it talks about how his testimony can and will bless many lives, especially if he serves a full time mission. The old Sean Connolly I once knew in east Tucson changed into and is continuing to change into the Sean Connolly the Lord wants him to become. This is one of, it not the greatest miracle I have ever seen my whole mission. I absolutely love this man and I know that we will be friends for all time and eternity!!

I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ because if it wasn't, people like Sean, like me, couldn't have come as far as we have and as close as we have to our Savior and Redeemer. It is through His Atonement and the Priesthood authority that we are all able to change our lives around and become the people our Heavenly Father knows we can be. WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST!! This is the greatest blessing we can receive if we stay strong and true to the things we have been taught. I know this to be true.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!

~Elder Kyle Harris

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2013

Hello Everyone!! I think I got everyone on here. We have to email at a different library this week because the main one is closed for Christmas Break till January 12th! That's a long break! So it isn't loading everyone I normally email automatically. If I missed someone, Im sorry!

This week has been one of the best ones in a long time! And it is all because of my new companion, Elder Deyarmond! I didn't tell you a whole lot about him but I have time now. Elder Derrick Dale Deyarmond is 18 and from Dorr, Michigan. He just graduated this year from high school. He actually has a very interesting story. Elder Deyarmond was born in Russia. Vladivostok, Russia to be exact. He was put into an orphanage at birth and was there till he was about 1.5 years old. Both he and his older sister were adopted from Russia. They aren't biological and only about 10 months apart in age. Elder Deyarmond's name used to be Anatoli Vladaviramich Dragon! But when he was adopted, they changed his name. I thought it would have been cool to keep his middle name "Dragon". It still would have fit the pattern of his name! He is a swimmer and has gone to state for that. He loves to mess around and joke but is definitely a hard worker. Our 2nd day together, we had planned to go see one of our potential investigators and teach The Restoration. As soon as the alarm went off at 6:30, his head lifted off the pillow and said "So we are going to be teaching the Restoration today, right?" I laughed and said yes but explained that we have a schedule that we have every morning and that we had time to prepare for the day. It was so cute! It is really helping the work out here though!

We have seen a lot of really cool miracles come out of just getting up on time and getting our studies done and getting out of the apartment on time. It is the small and simple things that really play the big difference! We got in touch with quite a few less active families that we have been trying to contact for a few weeks! One of them is the Taylors. Brother Taylor is a single father that is raising 3 daughters: Victoria (10), Alessandra (I think)(8), and Mira Bell (6). Sister Taylor passed away just over a month ago... It has been very hard on them all obviously but they are making a com-back. His 2 oldest daughters aren't baptized but they both want to be. We are gonna have to work with them to make sure that they understand everything but I am super excited to help this family grow and make these covenants!

We were also able to contact 2 more less-actives through another less-active! It was quite the miracle! We were asked to help our ward mission leader move some furniture out of some trailers and into a less-actives home, the Salazar's. So we show up and it turns out that the people we are getting the furniture from is a less-active family too! And they have a 10 year old son that has a lot of potential and wanted to get baptized at one point! So we were able to contact them through this service. Then we went over to the Salazar's to bring the furniture over and we were able to build up a friendship there too. In fact, we have been over there 3 more times just this week to help put some bunk beds and bed frames together for them. AND we are eating dinner with them tonight! So it is going to be super awesome!! :)

We were also asked to contact a less-active family, the Heckman's, about getting some furniture from the trailers. They said they needed some cribs and I can now see why. Sister Heckman has 6 kids and 2 more that are they for foster care! 8 kids is a lot to handle, not to mention her husband works 6 days a week from early in the morning to late at night. It's gotta be tough but somehow she manages! Some people just have that knack I guess! Anyway, we brought over the cribs and put them together for her. She invited us back anytime after the holidays so we will be going back either later this week or next week.

That is 3 less-active families we have been able to come in contact with in just one day! And on top of that, we got our own little reward! Actually, not just one and it's not very little. There were 2 queen mattresses and box's for the mattresses that were gonna be thrown away if no body took them. So, WE GOT QUEEN BEDS!!! AND we got a really cool coffee table that lights up underneath it. So we rewired it and hooked up Christmas lights to it instead and taped them to the inside of the table. So at just the click of a button, our coffee table lights up with Christmas lights! AAANNNDDD this week we will get getting a really nice "L-shaped" couch that will be cleaned very thoroughly and will be very nice! This allowed us to give our 2 twin sized beds to the Heckman's who also needed those too. Service works miracles!!

We had a really funny, kinda dumb experience this week. Elder Deyarmond thinks that he has a great memory but sometimes it is a little off. It's never a bad thing, it's just funny! So this week we got some fresh fruits and vegetables from a member. For lunch one day, Elder Deyarmond wanted a tomato sandwich and it turned out very well. He had some left over tomato slices and asked if I wanted to have some with sugar.... Tomatoes and sugar?? That sounds like something dad would try! ;) He reassured me that it was delicious and even ate a big piece covered in sugar. So I tried it... and I didn't really like it... at all actually. To get the taste out of my mouth, I grabbed the salt and another tomato slice and ate those together. He just looked at me and said, "Oh... salt... Maybe it was salt instead of sugar..." As he was saying this, he had a big ole' tomato slice with a mountain of sugar on top of it up to his mouth. He just shrugged and ate it like it was no big deal! So now we tell people that we love tomatoes and sugar just to see what reactions we get!

I am loving it out here! I don't think that I really need anything. I love music still! And I still love food (even though I'm down to 160 or 165)!! Snacks are great cause that means that I don't have to buy them at the store on p-days. Other than that, I will take pretty much anything! I just got a new toothbrush and toothpaste from a member along with some of those floss-stick things. The members truly love us out here and I love them too!

That is something I've really come to realize is so important, LOVE EVERYONE!! Every person on the street is a candidate for God-hood, yes even the man you see walking down the street with gages in his ears and spiked, technicolored hair! He is a son of God and at one point chose to follow Jesus Christ, he just doesn't remember that. And so it is up to us to make sure that he understands his potential by showing him the same love that God shows us each day. This includes within the family. Gavin and Connor, I don't know why I feel inclined to tell you this but fighting over a game of ping-pong really isn't worth the fight. The next day, you'll wake up and not even remember what you were fighting about but you will sure remember how you made each other feel. A quote I heard Elder Oaks I think say went something like "Should you disagree, do not be disagreeable." You can have different opinions and even voice them if you really feel that it is wrong. But don't fight about dumb little things and let that get in the way of your friendship, and even more important, your brotherhood. Gavin, do you remember when we used to fight all the time. The same with you Connor. We all used to fight a lot and there was yelling and crying and frankly, I hate those memories. But the ones of us going out and playing soccer or tennis or riding dad's scooter around or staying up late talking about life, those are the ones I love to think about! Remember how much you really love each other and don't worry about little disputations that you think are life changing but really aren't. Instead realize that your actions and decisions can be life changing, either for the better or worse. Look at me go, like I'm dad or something. You guys are big boys now. You can make your own decisions. But one lesson you need to learn now is that dumb little things don't matter when you have to be with someone 24/7. You will have companions on your mission that just drive you bonkers! But as you focus on the good and how much you love them, everything else works itself out!

Well, now that I've done that tangent, I just want to tell you all that I love you very much! I can't wait to call home in 3 days! I have absolutely no idea when I will be calling you guys though. We will just be calling from our cell phone I believe unless we can get a member to let us borrow their phone so we can talk a little longer! It will probably be closer to the morning when everyone is up and presents have been opened and such! I will text you on Wednesday to let you know what time exactly. :) I can't wait!!! I LOVE YOU!!! 

~Elder Kyle "Sebastian" Harris

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 16, 2014

Hey.... So.... Surprise!!! It was transfers!! And I completely and totally forgot to tell you!! And the story about what happened today is a bitter-sweet one. I don't have a whole lot of time unfortunately but I do have time to tell you about transfers and such. :)

So Grandma Despain texted me and told me that "Pineapple Express was leaving for East Tucson!" I was so confused... But then I realized that Elder Gilson is from Hawaii and would be leaving, hence "Pineapple Express". She was pretty excited and that made me laugh pretty hard admittedly. Bless her heart, I miss her so much! Anyway, I called and asked how she knew and she said that Elder Gilson had checked online. I got all excited and asked her to look mine up! She did and sure enough, I had a new name next to mine. Elder Derrick Dale Deyarmond from Dorr, Michigan (It's pronounced de-arm-un-d). I didn't recognize the name though... No one had. Elder McKenna thought he did from somewhere but he couldn't remember from where. Then he remembered... The ATM (Arizona Tucson Mission) News Letter that they give us every month has the names of all the missionaries going home AND COMING IN. Guess who's name was on the list of missionaries coming in! Yup, I'm Training again! I have another son!!! Now I have 2 sons and 2 daughters. I also have 3 grandsons and 2 great grandsons. I don't even know how many nephews or neices I have! It's just too complicated. ;)

Here's the weird part about this transfer... I hit 18 months today... That means that all 18 sisters that I came out with are going home tomorrow!!! Also, some of my favorite missionaries including Elder David Netane (He is Tongan) is going home!!! You have to go to his home coming if you can! I think he goes to a polynesian ward in Salt Lake. Because I am training and he is going home, we both needed to be at the transfer site for the meeting. But there is a shortage of vehicles in our zone and we have to pack missionaries in tight on p-days alone, not including all their luggage and other stuff. We were asked to have Elders Billhimer and Jones pick us up at 5:00 a.m. and drop them off at the Benson transfer site where all the other missionaries from Sierra Vista and surrounding areas go for transfers. Then Elder Netane and myself were to drive from there to Tucson and be there around 6:30 a.m., 7 at the latest. So we get up and we get a ride over to Elder Netane's from a member. The night before I called Elder Billhimer and reminded him to set his alarm for 4 a.m. so they could finish packing and then drive the 30 minutes to get from his house to Elder Netane's. They said they would do it.....

....They didn't set their alarm....

We called them about 43 times (not "about"... we counted. 43 times....) and got voice mail every time. 3 times is an emergency, 43 times means the world is about to end if you don't pick up your phone. Needless to say, we were stressed, tired, and mad. They finally picked it up at about 5:10 and said that their alarm didn't go off. Then when we questioned a little more, it turns out they didn't even set their alarm! They stayed up playing games with some members and got home late, finished packing most of their stuff, then right to bed. They got to our place at about 5:45 and we ZOOOOMED out of there! We dropped them off at the Benson Transfer site then headed to the Tucson Site where all the other missionaries were. We texted President and let him know our situation and he asked us how long we would be. We said about 15 minutes late (That was our prayer at least. It normally takes about just under an hour to get there and it was already 6:30...). He said that he would stall and just hurry but don't speed (too much!). So I didn't speed, too much... :) As we were driving there though, I realized that I had let lots of people down before too and had forgot lots of times to set my alarm and such. So I couldn't stay mad at them. Unfortunately, they don't have a good reputation in the mission for this stuff though. We pulled into Tucson and into the Transfer Site at exactly 7:15... Miracle? I most definitely say yes!!! We got our companions and had a trainer/trainee meeting with all the new missionaries and their trainers. We left there and got some lunch then headed for home. We got here at about 2:30 but it feels like it's 9:30 cause I'm exhausted!!! But Im super excited to be with Elder Deyarmond! He is about 5'7" and 180 or so. He likes most sports but loves to swim and any winter sport. He just graduated this year so he's only 18. Funny fact actually!

In my District there are:
Me - 18 months out
Elder Deyarmond - 0 months out
Elder Farnworth - 1 month out
Elder Mitchell - 3.5 months out
Sister Walter - 3.5 months out
Sister Goodwin - 1 month out

My whole district is under a year old!! We could combine the number of months they have served and it still wouldn't equal a year!! That's ridiculous!!

Yup, that's about it! Crazy to hear that Jeni Bodine is home!!! Tell her I say hi and to email me her new email! Also crazy to think that Nick gets home TOMORROW!!! Time is flying by so fast! I can't believe it... But that's okay, just gotta live it up while I can!

I talked to Elder Gilson at the transfer site by the way. Of course, Hope came up very first. From what he says, she is doing AWESOME!!! She is reading from the Book of Mormon and both her and her mother want to be baptized before Hope's birthday in January!! God is blessing her in so many ways and the best part is, she knows it's coming from Him!! Keep praying for her! :)

Terrick is in Texas and will not be returning.... He did some really really dumb things and if he comes back, he will be arrested. For a long time. So keep him in your prayers too please! He needs it now more than ever!

I think that you should pick out an ornament for me this year. I have been looking but haven't been able to find one yet. Also, I have been looking for presents to send the fam but I can't think of anything either! Any suggestions?? Do Tell! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

~Elder Kyle Harris

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 8, 2014

Hello everyone!! Welcome to day number 544 of my mission! In 4 days, I will be out 18 months... I guess I could count it in like 2 days cause my proselyting license expires on June 10th. I think that means that that is the day that I will be coming home! 6 months... I don't know where the time went these last 18 months but it's disappearing somewhere faster than the lines on the freeway going 100 MPH!! (Not that I would know what that's like at all....) But I am definitely trying to make the best of the time that I have left and make sure that I don't come home with any regrets! That reminds me of a story that I need to tell you about Elder McKenna and I making up raps! :) I mine as well tell you now then.

So our area is pretty big. To bike from one side to the other, corner to corner, it takes us about 30 minutes. Its all basically one big hill here in Sierra Vista with little ups and downs that people call "bumps". Psh, those are big bumps! We've found that it's actually better for us contacting-wise if we just walk around. This allows us to talk to people on the street without being creepers and stopping on our bikes to talk to them. We have a new method of contacting for this month using new pass-along cards. They are for the "He is The Gift" video on If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, DO IT!!! It's amazing!! So we go around and ask people if we can give them Christmas cards and most people gladly accept them. We then say something like "On the front is says 'He is The Gift' cause he is our ultimate gift from God. We just want to help everyone remember Him this Christmas and try to build up their relationships with him better. On the back there is a little website ( that shows a video on Christ's humble birth. If you get a chance, I think you would really like it!" or something like that! And most people are really receptive to it! It also gives us an in to to talk to them about their beliefs and ask them more questions to get them to open up to us! We have had a lot of success with this and have had 3 people, without us asking first, say "You guys can stop by anytime! Here is my number and address." And all 3 of them live in our boundaries!! Miracle, I think so! :) Anyway, so we using this to contact people but sometimes we are just walking to an appointment with no one there to talk to. We know quite a bit about each other and can't think of questions to ask anymore, so instead we make up raps (or you can call them rhymes with a beat if you'd like) about what's around us, our thoughts, our desires, etc. Just anything really! It is awesome! We get a lot of kicks and giggles out of it. Recently, our songs have been about girls and we say like
"I miss girls, you know its true and Its hard for me to describe,
the feelings that they give to me, it make me feel so fly!"
or something lame like that! We even have "Rapper Names"! His is M.C.Kenna and mine is Sirrah or K.Bastian. :) It makes for good memories and laughs!

This week wasn't all that exciting or active unfortunately. We tried to do a lot of work but it was mostly just service and random appointments here and there. We did service for a less-active guy, Glen. Glen is a single father, his wife passed away about 3 years ago leaving him with her little girl she had from a previous marriage. Both he and his wife got baptized and then she passed away about a year later... He isn't active in the church (hence why I said he was less-active) but has very strong morals and a testimony of the church. He just doesn't have the motivation to get up and get going, plus he's very forgetful. We were over on Tuesday doing service for him, helping him clean up his yard and chopping down some bamboo and dead branches that are dangling over his tin roof. Funny story, I was using a hatchet to cut the branches in the tree. I set the hatchet down in a safe spot where it wouldn't fall, well where I thought it wouldn't fall. I was shaking a branch loose that I had just cut from some other dead branches and I guess I was shaking too hard cause the whole tree was shaking. This caused my hatchet to fall out of the tree and land in the dirt about 10 feet away from Elder McKenna. He got worried about me being up in the tree and that I was going to drop my hatchet on him as he was standing under me. So to ease his worries, I got down and we broke up the branches into smaller pieces that I had already cut down. Sorry, tangent. Well it turns out that Glen's daughter, Gracie, is 9 years old and not baptized but she really wants to be! So we are going to go over this week and do more service and teach her and him both the lessons cause he doesn't remember them a whole lot! Part member families are awesome tools! Are there very many of them in the ward you live in now? Who are the missionaries over there? Do you see them in the congregation often? See if you can find some and befriend them! Or invite them to a party in the ward or something like that! :)

We also did some service for the Froehlich's. She is the one who sent you the picture mom of us making gingerbread cookies. We went over and put up Christmas lights on Tuesday after we helped out Glen. She had a brilliant idea on how to put up the Christmas lights on stucko though! Instead of buying clips and trying to find somewhere to put them, you use a hot glue gun and just glue the lights to the house! Then, when it's time to take them off, you use a blow dryer to warm the glue back up and then it just peals right off! Simple, cheap, but hot glue is dangerous on your skin, just an FYI. I only got a few blisters, like 5 or 6. No big deal. But it was really fun! :) We also went over on Thursday to put up the rest of the lights but IT WAS RAINING!!! So we didn't dare get onto her roof. Instead, she asked us to help her make gingerbread cookies. So we made cookies for about 2 hours while listening and singing to Christmas Music! My favorite artists for Christmas music are still Male: Frank Sinatra; Female: Kelly Clarkson. They are just fantastic! And now I can make gingerbread cookies :)

Update on peoples!

Hope is doing great! He pain meds are still giving her a few problems but not as much as before. She is recovering very quickly actually and even though she wont be at full strength for about 4 months or so, that is still better than the 6-8 months they told her! She is giving all the credit to God and know's that He is watching out for her. She also says that when she feels sad or down, that as she reads her Book of Mormon, it really helps her out. That is the power of the Scriptures!! :)

Terrick... Terrick Terrick Terrick... It has been over 2 weeks since we've heard from him. We just recently found out that he did make his way down to Texas and lost his phone down there. That's why he hasn't been answering his calls or texts. He does have an app on his ipod though that can text and one of the McKnight boys, his closest friends in the ward, was able to get in touch with him there. But he is keeping very distant for some reason... We are definitely worried about him but we know that he isn't going to make too dumb of decisions. Before he left, he was hanging out with some of his old friends here in Vista. They are from his old gang that he used to be apart of. It was like 2 in the morning and they were driving somewhere. On the way to their destination, they handed him a gun and said that they were going to rob some lady and he was going to have to hold her at gun point while they did their business. He dropped the gun and said no and asked to be dropped off right then and there. So they pulled over after some debate and finally let him out. He called the McKnights and asked for a ride home. This shows me he isn't going to make super dumb decisions! But I just hope that that sticks with him in Texas. Please keep praying for him!

Well, I think that pretty much sums up everything. Oh! I did get the little envelope in the mail! Thank you!! I haven't got the other one yet but thank you for sending it!

Gavin, I hate that you have such amazing facial hair!! You are such a stud, I can't even believe it! How does every girl in the school not just bow at your feet and beg you to only look upon them and tell them they are beautiful! Haha but seriously, all of the Elders here are asking if you are a model or not, I tell them you were going to be but turned down the company :) You're welcome!

Well I love you all! Have a great week and know that no matter what, God is watching over you! :)

~Elder Kyle Harris