Monday, November 28, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 14

Esta ciudad està llenado de perros calientes

It's been a full week.  We had two baptisms on Saturday, Maria and Lorena, they were both really great.  On Friday I had my last training for being a new missionary with President Stauffer in Las Palmeras.  On Thursday I forgot that it was Thanksgiving until 9 o clock at night haha, (they don't have it here).  But to celebrate we made tacos for the first time since I've been here.  It's been a long time since I've had a good taco, so it was a good Thanksgiving dinner.

I got sick this week.  It must have been some sort of food poisoning, because at 3 am Saturday morning both me and my companion were hurling the Arroz Chaufa that we had the night before.  All day Saturday was kind of rough, but it's over now so I'm happy.  I'm just a bit sad that I now no longer have a craving for Chaufa (it used to be my favorite haha).

I don't know if I've explained this before, but we have this thing in my mission called 10 Maneras (10 Ways) and it's basically 10 ways that we plan every week to find new investigators.  And the point is to be creative and think of new ones to use.  And well, my companion has a guitar. I don't know how he got it, he said someone gave it to him as a gift in his old area.  So we went around walking singing hymns with the guitar one day to find people to teach.  And we found a family that is having trouble with their marriage.  So who knows, maybe all that guitar practice was for something huh?

My mission president talks a lot about buen animo (good enthusiasm).  I have seen this in my mission, our attitude affects the success we have in life.  It's true that attitude is everything. Especially in the mission.

Love you guys,

Elder Harris

Maria's Baptism with Elder Poma

Lorena's Baptism

Elder Poma

Final New Missionary Training: Elder Ascero, Elder Cheney, Elder Poma, Yo, Elder Morocho, Elder Jardine

P-day Package from my Mom

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 13

No puedo encontrar la mantequilla de maní

What a week.  Well I'm still here in Pacha, and my new companion is Elder Poma from Cuchabomba, Bolivia, he has a lot of time in the mission (goes home in March), and I've already learned a ton from him this first week together.  The cool part is that he already knows everyone in the branch because his first area in the mission was Cedros 1, and now he is in Cedros 2.  He was happy to go to church yesterday and see all of his converts and stuff.  He is a really good missionary.  In his last area he was training Elder Cheney, who was in my MTC group.  I think the main thing I've learned from him this last week is the importance of gaining the trust and expressing true Christlike love for the people here in our area.  We are going to have a baptism this week, it's going to be great.

I have not spoken in church yet, but I have borne my testimony a bunch of times.  In fact, my first Sunday in the field the branch president invited me up to bear my testimony.  In my branch there are 4 missionaries and we are always working in the branch. Unlike Utah, where an area is a stake, our area and our workload is 100% in the branch.  So we get pretty close to the ward members and the branch leaders.

All of the mission meetings are 100% in Spanish, they have to be because normally the person conducting the meeting doesn't speak English haha.  But, if there is a new greenie from the states, they will have someone translate for him if he doesn't understand. Interviews with President are in English.  And the first couple of trainings with President for new missionaries are in English, but other than that everything is in Spanish.

My problem with the language right now is that I have a Gringo accent.  I'm trying to get rid of it and sound like a Latino but it's tough.  I guess I have a year and half to get it down.

We taught the owner of our apartment this week!  And she came to church too.  I don't know why the missionaries haven't taught her before.

Have a semana fantastica!

Élder Harris

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 12

Arroz Chaufa

I don't have much time today, sorry!  But it's been a good week. The baptism of Maria didn't happen, but we are going to keep working with her.  Tomorrow is transfers and my companion has like 7 months here, so yeah, he has been a great trainer.  I got to spend a day with a North American this week, it was pretty fun to do a work visit with Elder Taylor.  And we both have less than 2 transfers in the mission (jovenes).  But yeah, I have to leave, so love you all!

This is the Soto Family.  The mom isn't in the picture.

Elder Neira from Santiago Chile.

Yes this is a flavor and yes it's delicious.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 11

Mermelada Morada de Mora

It's been a bacán semana here in Pachacutec, we are doing our best to teach repentence every day and baptize every week.  Everything seems good for the baptism of Maria this coming Saturday.  She will have her interview tomorrow and I think she's really prepared.  We are also teaching Lorena, a single mother who lives with her mom and sister and son, Angel who has 6 years.  Her mom and sister are members, and we got them all to come to church this last Sunday which was awesome.  She has her date for the 26th of November.

I want to throw in a little cultural note.  One thing that's really cool here in Pachacutec is all the motocycles.  They have mototaxis, which is just a motocycle modified to have 2 wheels in the back and a bench seat for 2 or 3 people.  Like a three wheeler.  We use them sometimes, but it's expensive so mainly we walk.  They also have mototaxis with a different design but they are mostly in Ventanilla.  They don't work very good on the hills here haha.  I'll try to send a picture of them.  And also they have a lot of the motorcycles like the one in Nacho Libre, with two wheels in the front and one in back.  They are used mostly to carry and sell fish or fruit or anything really.  A lot of times there will be a loud speaker attached to a pole on the motorcycle and they drive through the streets, announcing their product, and the people come out and buy.  They are always yelling in their loudspeakers in the morning during studies haha.

One spiritual experience I had this week was when we were teaching a single man in his house.  And he was making a lot of excuses about going to church and keeping his committments, and I had a power feeling come over me that I just needed to testify to this man.  So, I just basically bore my testimony, but I didn't feel like I was speaking.  I really felt like I was the mouthpiece of God.  I could feel the spirit working through me.  I'm so grateful to have this sacred calling of a missionary.

Saludes a la familia

Élder Harris

Elder Arroyo from Columbia on a work visit

An unstaged action shot of us studying

I don't remember why I took this picture