Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Paramonga - Week 4

El Poder del Espiritu Santo

It's been a kind of slow week, we only found one new investigator.

But the one person that we were able to teach actually turned out to be a really cool experience. So two weeks ago, a sister in the ward gave us a referral, Maria, from La Gran Oportunidad Misional and she made an appointment with Maria and we went to the appointment with her, but she warned us that Maria's husband was a bad man that wouldn't want to even look at us. We entered the house and sat down with the member and Maria. We asked Maria if she could invite her husband to accompany us, she looked a little nervous but went to do it. We heard the husband in the other room say no and went deeper into the house. Maria came back and started to cry and we did what we could to comfort her and help her feel hope. They obviously were having a lot of problems in their marriage.

So during that whole week we would stop by their house to see if we could find a chance to talk to the husband and see if he would receive us or if not that he would give us permission to teach his wife. We finally found him and we asked if we could enter to share a message with him and he said no. But we kept talking and finally he said okay you guys can come in, but with the condition that you don't pray and you don't invite me to attend your church. We accepted and we started teaching him the restoration. When we got to the Book of Mormon, Elder Camacho and I both testified of how we felt when we asked God if it was true. Then I said Brother Juan if you read the Book of Mormon and ask God with a sincere heart if it's true, I promise you that you will receive an answer from him that it's true. He got this surprised look on his face and said you promise me? I responded, I don't only promise you, I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ that God will respond. He felt the spirit I'm sure. He said that he wanted to feel that manifestation of the Holy Ghost and wanted to feel a calling from God and said he would do it.

That experience impacted me a lot. In that lesson I felt a strong unity with my companion and I felt the power as we taught together.

Also this week Brianna was baptized. She is 10 years old.

In our area there is this old fortress built by the Incas that is called the Fortaleza de Paramonga. They think it was a military base. But it's basically just a hill with old retaining walls built in. And it's interesting there isn't an entrance desk or anything. Anyone one can go there and climb the fortress. 

Have a great week,

Elder Harrison Ford

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Paramonga - Week 3

Martes Dia de Preparación

Well I ran out of time but I'm writing on Tuesday today because yesterday we traveled to Huacho to have interviews with President Stauffer. We have had a lot of good experiences this week.

One weird thing that happened this week was we were walking down the street heading to eat lunch when we ran into six guys from Pakistan that I guess were being tourists in Paramonga. They were Muslims with their long beards and white robes. They spoke Spanish and English so we were able to communicate. They told us that we need to convert to Islam, it was kind of funny, and then they gave me a little bottle of perfume as a gift. Crazy things that happen.

I love you all, thanks for writing me, congratulations Zach for getting married, that's a man that understands the Plan of Salvation!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Paramonga - Week 2

Meter el hoz

This week I was able to get to know the area a little better. There are a lot of good people here. One kind of weird experience I had was we were walking around a corner and I saw a guy wave to us, we went back to talk to him and to our surprise he started talking to us in English. At first I was thinking wow this Peruvian speaks perfect English, but after looking closer I realized he had blue eyes and he had to be gringo. He said he was from Pennsylvania and he didn't speak a word of Spanish but his wife was from Paramonga and he was staying here to get residency in Peru or something. It didn't make a lot of sense, but he wasn't interested in the church either so we left even though I could tell he wanted to keep talking to us.

We have had a lot of amazing experiences this week with the investigators here in Paramonga. One is Juan, Elder Sorenson and Elder Bates had taught him in a work visit a few weeks ago, but this week he called us and told us he wanted to meet with us and that we could find him in the church that day at 5:30. We got there 10 minutes earlier and he was standing outside waiting for us. When we taught him he told us he knew the church was true, that all the other churches were false and that the other brothers had told him he could be baptized the 11th of November and he promised them that he was going to do it that day. He attended the two sessions of stake conference and arrived 10 minutes early to each one, it amazes me. He is a really humble man, he hardly has anything to his name. But he definitely feels something special about us, which is what is important. We also had the baptismal interview of Briana, a girl of 10 years, and her mom who is activating was with her in her interview.

I feel something special here in Paramonga. I feel like the Lord has prepared a lot of people to receive the Gospel here and Elder Camacho and I are going to thrust in our sickles with our might and we will lay up in store.

This is where we eat lunch everyday with Coquito

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Paramonga - Week 1

Nueva Area

I got transferred. My old companion Elder Huarsaya is training a new missionary (un gringito que no habla nada de castellano jajaja). He was really excited about it and also my son Elder Viera who is in Huacho right now is also training so that makes me an ABUELO (grandpa).

My area is called Paramonga. The zone is Barranca. My area is the northmost area in our mission. It took like 5 hours to get to Barranca on the bus, then another 20 minutes in taxi to Paramonga. Paramonga is a city, it actually reminds me a lot of Beaver, but instead of being surrounded by alfalfa and grass fields, it's surrounded by sugar cane. 

There is a sugar factory here and miles and miles of sugar cane, but they also raise corn and potatoes. I was expecting it to be really different from Lima, but it's actually really similar. The buildings are the same, the transportation is the same motorcycle taxis, normal taxis, and vans. I think there are less cars here. The city is pretty well developed. There is pavement in about half of the area. Most of the people here work in the fields or work in the factories.

We have a little chapel here in Paramonga. The ward is small; between 50 and 100 attend sacrament meeting. Yesterday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. Every ward in Peru had church at 6pm yesterday because there was a National Census and everyone was required to stay in their house until 5pm, including the missionaries. I spent the time learning to solve the different kinds of rubics cubes that my companion has.

My new companion is Elder Camacho from Santa Cruz Bolivia. He has 7 months on the mission and he is still in his first area. He is in his 6th transfer here which is rare. 

We were leaving a teaching appointment with a young man who had accompanied us and we were passing by his house to borrow his bathroom and also to get to know his family. His sister was there with her two children, the oldest was 10 years old. We asked if she was member of the church and she said no. We sat down and had a lesson with them right then. The mom is a single mother that has been less active most of her life, but her kids go to church more with their grandparents. It was a miracle to find the mom there because she almost always is working in Lima. As we taught the doctrine of Christ we asked the girl if she wanted to be baptized. She said yes. We asked her when she wants to do it and her answer was...this Saturday. Her desire to follow Christ was very strong. I asked her why she wanted to be baptized so soon and she said BECAUSE I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT JESUS CHRIST. Later her uncle and mom explained that it would be better to wait a few weeks because she hadn't gone to church in a while. So we put the date for the 4th of November. 

The family of members that we lived on their second floor in Naranjal

Elder Comacho

A view from our apartment window. We live above a Pollería, a place that makes Pollo a la brasa.
Chicken roasted with hot coals.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Naranjal - Week 19

Sed inspirada

One experience no más.

One of our new investigators this week is Ernesto. We were buying a drink at a store and we started contacting the lady selling stuff in her store. While we were talking a man approached the store to buy something. While the lady was attending to him, we struck up a conversation with the man named Ernesto. The lady brought him his things and as he was leaving we invited him to listen to our message. He pointed to his house across the park and said that he would be waiting for us. We finished contacting the lady in her store and went to teach Ernesto. 

He only had 10 minutes so we taught him rapidly about the Book of Mormon and we had to leave before we could put a good baptismal date. We also invited him to church and he said maybe he would find time to come (which means no most of the time). We lost contact from him then until Sunday morning when we passed by to see if there was a chance he would go to church. He was busy giving breakfast to his kids and said that he would come a little later. 

We honestly felt that all hope was lost because it was Stake Conference and it would be difficult for him to arrive there alone. But as we were sitting in Stake Conference feeling sad about having zero insacs, we saw him come in from the back door with his two little kids. It was a miracle that he was able to arrive. Later that day we realized that he didn't have a baptismal date, so we passed by his house and in the daily contact we invited him for the 11 of November and he accepted.

I know the gospel is true and it gives me complete joy teaching Gods children.

Elder Harris

Monday, October 9, 2017

Naranjal - Week 18

Que pasó esta semana

A nice experience we had this week was on Wednesday we decided to do a finding activity where we search for former investigators from the old teaching records in the area book. We pulled out a few records that seemed like good investigators and went out to knock on their doors, 2 hours later, we had knocked on 3 doors and taught 2 families. It was almost as if they were there waiting for us, it was pretty cool.

The bishop called us an hour before church this week and asked us if we would talk in sacrament meeting (we weren't surprised, it's something normal). I talked about patience, my companion talked about charity.

On Thursday we had a zone conference with 4 other zones combined and it started at 8 am and ended at 6 pm with a 10 minute break and a 20 minute lunch break. But it was awesome, President Stauffer talked about a lot of things. What stuck out most to me was the practices we did with the baptismal invitation. I was practicing with my old MTC companion, Elder Probert (who is the mission health secretary now). I was playing the role of the investigator and he was the missionary. He invited me to be baptized and I told him no I was already baptized catholic. Then he asked me, Brother, why do you think that I am asking you to be baptized again for the second time? That question was inspired.

This week also was a soccer game between Peru and Argentina, president told us that we weren't allowed to be in the street during and after the game because the people get kind of crazy here. So we spent the time in the house of members. 

Today we were taking our dirty clothes to get washed and a woman passing by said, Elders can I ask you something? She was a member that lives in the Lima North mission, but she is visiting her sister that lives in our area that isn't a member.  She wanted us to visit her sister, we have an appointment in half an hour with her. We will see how it goes.

Thanks family, son lo maximo

Elder Harris

These pics are from today, we climbed the only hill that is in our area, el Cerro Candela.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Naranjal - Week 17

Santidad al Señor

So we went to the temple this week as a zone. I wish i could go to the temple more often, its so spiritual. This time sitting in the celestial room with my companion i was able to feel a lot of personal revelation. Take advantage of having a temple close to you.

These are the elders in our zone for P-day today