Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Well I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!! I know I did. It was so good to see everyone and to talk to you guys! Well this week we have been pretty busy, running errands :(  The sisters are coming out tomorrow and it has been a joke getting stuff ready for them.  Hopefully will have a place to stay tomorrow. The sisters are taking our car too :( BOOO!!! They haven't made up their mind to see if they want to get us bikes or if they want us to walk. Either way it is going to suck. The way they want to split the area there is no way for us to cover it on bikes or on foot.  From our house to one side of the area would bean over 1 hour bike ride one way going at a fast speed. So yeah it is going to be quite the transfer.  So the question that you asked mom about if sisters are still needy I will answer in a different email just in case there are any tender ears listening lol.
So Christmas was good out here! The Ritz Carlton was so amazing!! I loved it! There was so much food and I couldn't even pronounce 95% of the things cuz they were way to fancy.  I wish I would have been more outgoing and tried all of the crazy exotic food, but I stuck with the most normal that I could get for the most part. Man they did not spare anything at that restaurant.  It is a 5 star restaurant and now I know why it cost $150 for my lunch there.  We ended up getting our little mission vehicle valet parked ya know cuz that's how we roll in Cayman!! Only the best! The valet parkers were quite excited to park our cute little car.  Ha our car is the biggest chick car, it's a Toyata Yaris and has a 0-40 mph of like 8.9 minutes. But as dad always says, "a crappy ride is better than a good walk any day."  I am feeling that way knowing that today is the last day with that little beaut!!! 
So on Christmas in the morning we had a nice breakfast before the Ritz at the A.'s house. He is our branch mission leader and is really cool.  We also had a bbq that night at the R.'s house. On Christmas Eve we also had a BBQ at the Rh.'s house.  So the 26th of December is also a holiday in the Caribbean. It is called 'Boxing Day'. No one can tell the meaning of it, they just know that they don't have to work.  People have told us a couple different reasons for boxing day and some say it is really just to box up all the Christmas stuff and put it away.  Wow that is quite the holiday. Well not too much else has been going on.  It is crazy to think that I only have 6 more weeks out here!! I hope everyone has a happy new year!! Love ya guys!
Love Elder Harris

Monday, December 23, 2013

Open your doors and your hearts to Him, not just a crack but all the way!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! Well this week was  good, as usual. This week was busy too, but with a lot of stuff other than teaching. People are either off island visiting family, have a lot of family on island, or are just way too busy with work.  It has been hard to get lessons but it will pick up next month. 

So earlier this week was pretty cool.  Our branch president’s wife told us about this Christmas Wish that a radio station was doing here.  She told us that we needed to email them about a family in our branch named the B’s.  We did that and told them the whole story surrounding the B. family.  Well R. and E. have 2 grown, unemployed daughters living with them.  Each daughter has 4 children that are also living with them ages 2 months to 21 years old.   All of them are unemployed, R. and E. cuz they are retired and also the 2 daughters.  Anyways they have their electricity cut off frequently, they run completely out of food quite often. The church helps them out a lot, but they were not going to have a good Christmas. R. and E. are just awesome tho, they try so hard to make their grandkids have the best life possible. They are solid in the gospel and converts of just a couple years. Both have health conditions that limit them.  I feel bad.  Well we emailed them, the next day we called Sister J. in the morning and had her put her phone on speaker phone up to the radio to see if they won, and they did! They called them on the radio, and while they were on the radio Santa showed up to their house with a Christmas tree, and lights, and many presents, and $500 to help with bills, and a new cell phone with a 1 month contract.  But it was so cool! We went over and they were all crying.  They literally have nothing, they are living in really bad conditions.  They have a lot of animals, like chickens and he saves the eggs that he gets and gives them to his neighbors who he says is less fortunate then he is. So generous.  He always is looking for ways to serve, he says if you do good, you get good.  I believe that is why they won.  They got nominated so many times that the radio station said they just had to choose them. IDK who else nominated them but they do have a very good impact on a lot of people even in the situation they are in.  

The Christmas devotional that was broadcast from Jamaica on Saturday was good. I know you guys watched it and it was probably freezing up like ours was but it was still good. That was from my chapel in Spanish Town by the way, almost 800 people were there live, plus it was broadcast to like 20 other areas in the mission so it was a good turn-out, and was a great missionary tool just like we hoped it would be :) A couple hundred nonmembers and less actives attended so that was perfect :)

We had our missionary Christmas fireside on Friday, that was good as well.

Saturday we had a Christmas choir concert here. I was in the chior so I'm kind of a big deal :) It was good as well.

Anyways have a Merry Christmas! Do those things to invite Christ into our lives.  I think about Mary and Joseph who went from inn to inn and they wouldn't open their doors to Him.  Sometimes we do that in our personal lives as well.  Make room for Him in our inn, he stands knocking on our hearts, don't pass Him up, let the Savior into our lives. Open our doors, open our hearts, not just a crack, but all the way, especially during this Christmas season. 

Love you all! See you on Wednesday!

Love Elder Colton Harris

Monday, December 16, 2013

Continue to center our lives on Christ!

Alright, well another week is in the books. Thank you so much everyone for the little note that you guys sent my mom, and then that she sent to me. I loved them! I am so greatful for all of you and for the great example and support you have been to me!! It really does mean a lot! There are so many people on both sides of the family and as I was looking at it I realized that even with there being so many people, that we haven't really ever had any big events, like bad things, if you think about it.  That isn't very common for families today, but I definatly know that we are being blessed as we continue to center our lives on Christ! Blessings like this are the promise of living the gospel.
This was a good week, but kind of a slow week.  People are getting really busy since it is the holiday season, and are either leaving the country to visit family or have family coming in so they are busy.  Either way it has been a little bit more difficult to see people, but we made it work.
So we are still working with N. and D., they don't seem as enthusiastic about the whole thing anymore, but hopefully we can continue to get them moving forward and fellowshipped good. 
Anyways, the Ap's just texted and told us to start looking at prices of bycicles, instead of cars. NNNOOOOO!! That would be terrible!   It would only be for a transfer for us, but even the sisters would have to have them when they make it a 4 sister area. Too bad, too bad.
So there wasn't much to say today. Nothing interesting is really going on, plus I'll talk to you in a couple days.  Love you guys!
Love Elder Colton Harris

Colton's Family and Friend Christmas Tree
Personal messages from each person are on the back of the ornaments!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Priesthood Works!

Sunny and 75 here!!! I'm so sorry to hear about all the minus 0 degree weather you guys are having.  Now I know why this is the busy season here Cayman, everyone wants to get away from that weather!
Anyways it has been another good week! I'll start off with the good news we received this week!! We got told that Elder Runyan and I will be staying in Cayman until the middle of February!! :) I am stoked, there was a possibility that we would go back to Jamaica the first of January but not anymore! They also told us to go apartment shopping and car shopping cuz 2 sisters are coming in 3 weeks.  In February when we leave 2 more sisters will come out here and it will be an all sister area! Sisters are taking over all the off island areas I am so glad I got to come out here lol! Anyways when that time rolls around I will have not seen another elder for 6 whole months since we are staying each others companions! That is crazy!
Anyways this week we had our branch Christmas party! It was really good! We had ham, turkey and roast beef! We get fed way too much here.  In Jamaica all I wanted was more food and here all I want is less food! Anyways it's a good problem to have I guess.
Well on Wednesday we had a pretty cool experience! This little kid in the branch, his name is T.  I think he is like 4 or 5, well he has been having some problems lately.  He has been losing his balance and IDK some other things were going on.  Anyways, some Dr.s here told his mom that his symptoms are the same as a brain tumor, so they set him up to get air ambulanced to Miami Children’s Hospital to get looked at better.  Well his mom called us and our branch president and asked if we could give him a blessing before they leave so we went and did that.  We got to the hospital and went to the pediatric ward and he was sitting on his sister’s lap and in a lot of pain.  He had been like drowsy for a day or two and never wanted to anything. He did say when we walk in "It's the mishomaries!!" But then he went right back to the way he was.  Well we talked to his mom and dad for a while and his mom said I have to warn ya that last time T. got a blessing he was down for days, right after it was over he started bouncing off the walls! We were like ah that's cool ya know.  Well before the blessing his sister passed him to his mom and he was in so much pain during that little transition, we gave the blessing, and immediately after President J. said amen he jumped down off his moms lap and started running around and playing with all the toys that were in the waiting room there.  He wanted all of us to play with him and everything.  His mom said that ever since that blessing that is the way he has been.  They still went on with the trip to Miami because of what the Cayman Dr.s said, but in Miami after all the tests some of the Dr.s and nurses said, “Are you sure he wasn't faking it?  Was he really having those symptoms?” They couldn't find anything at all wrong with him.  They did, I guess, say that there were 2 minor things though, but, who knows, I could have a dozen minor things wrong with me right now.  Anyways they sent him back and all is still good.  The priesthood works.
The branch primary program was also this week, it was good.  We had a lot of less active parents come to that so that was good.  We had Mission Leader Council this week as well which was really good, now the down side to that is that I have to get a lesson together for zone meeting on Wednesday.
Oh by the way mom, the mission is having a Christmas devotional thing on the 21st.  They are streaming it on the internet and told us to tell our parents in case they wanted to watch it. It should be pretty good.  All the branches in the mission will be watching it.  I gave them your email address and they will email a link to you on the morning of the devotional. It starts at noon your time and so you should get that email at about 10 or 11 if ya want to watch it.
Well we are still working with the same people I said last week and also a new one named D.! They are all really busy and hard to see but things are still going good! Love you guys! Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!!! I love you guys!!!! :)
Their humble Christmas the tie garland!

Hot tubbin'...missionary style!

Big Tree at Caymana Bay with Colton

Big Tree at Caymana Bay!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Importance of Going After the ONE!

Well this week was another pretty good week. I too can't believe it is December already! Time is going quick! Well we had a pretty good week this week.  The highlight was Thanksgiving, and Pres Brown and Elder Anderson (our area president) came and visited.
So on Wednesday Prez and Elder Anderson flew in.  They were on a mission tour so they visited all 21 branches in our mission.  We were the last one, so of course they followed the old saying by leaving the best for last! It was a really quick trip, they got here at about 4, we went and checked them into their hotel, came to the church and had a quick dinner, had a branch council training meeting, then a member fireside/ devotional. Those were really good, it definitely was good for the branch to hear that, hopefully we can keep the fire going under the member so that the missionary work can speed up here!! It is going pretty good, but it can go faster! So when those were over they split up, pres came with us to visit a less active member and Elder Anderson went and visited a less active couple with our branch president.  Both of those visits were really worth while! It really helped the branch and I the importance of going after the "1". Here you have a very busy mission president, and an area president who covers almost 500 wards/ branches, who if he visited one unit every week, it would take him over 8 years to see all the units in his area, they are only on island for 18 hours, and while they are here they wanted to each go and visit a less active.  They could have came up with plenty of other meeting to tell people how to go and visit people or something and we as members would just go back into our regular routine when they left, but instead they took the initiative to set the example for all of us.  Both members came back yesterday, and seemed to really enjoy it, now we are going to progress them to the temple!
Thanksgiving was also good! We stayed pretty busy, ate some good food, got splashed by a huge wave (btw the big wave came inside the car, i'll explain it later), talked to some R-LDS people which was very weird as well.  So the R-LDS people that we talked to were at Sister Bush's house when we went over there for dinner.  All of her in-laws, plus her husband are from that reorganized church, now the Community of Christ church.  It was so weird to talk to someone who believes the Book of Mormon is true, knows Joseph Smith is a prophet, yet they still aren't in the right church.  But we did get a return appointment with a couple of them cuz they don't believe in their church anymore. I guess when the name changed, a lot of their doctrines changed, and some of their prophets were basically forced to resign, so I guess that name change turned out quite nice for us! 
So I was talking about the big wave that came into our car.  So on Thursday, this big storm that Cayman gets only once a year was here. It is called the Nor' Western.  So usually the ocean is really calm and still just like a lake almost. So this storm brought in so huge waves!! They were crashing up on all the stores and restaurants on the ocean.  So we drove into the Burger King parking lot that is on 7 mile beach and we were there looking at them.  So the parking lot is on a retaining cement wall type thing right on the ocean. On a typical day the ocean would be about 20 feet down the wall, with barely any waves.  So we parked about 10 feet away from the side of the wall and were taking pictures and videos. We were there for a couple minutes and then right before we left we saw a big one coming in so we decided to watch it.  Well this last one was the dagger.  It hit the cement wall and splashed up 15 feet or so above the wall, and right over to out car totally coming right inside!!! We had the window on Elder Runyans side down to get good pictures, obviously not expecting it to be that big and it DRENCHED him!! It was so funny, we got it on video and we have pictures.  Anyways sometimes we aren't the brightest bulb in the knife drawer! 
Well the 3 main people we are working with right now are D. who is the husband of a member, N. who is also the Husband of a member, O. who we found through a member, and is also good friends with R., and G. who I think we will drop soon! Anyways I am glad that you guys had a good Thanksgiving, I am sad I missed it! Page looked so awesome! The helicopter ride over lake powell looked even better!! Those pictures you guys sent to me were beautiful! Have a good week! Love you guys!!
Love Elder Colton Harris

Monday, November 25, 2013

Can't believe I am at 9 months, could've had a baby in that amount of time!

So once again it is Pday, time to write home again! The past couple weeks have just been getting better and better and this week was no different! At this rate I have no idea how I am going to be able to go back to Jamaica and serve there cuz this place is dope! But I kinda do miss Jamaica a little still, just being able to ride your bike down the same street 5 times a day for 6 months straight and seeing something different that you haven't ever seen in your life before every time you ride that road... that is the miracle of Jamaica, and that doesn't happen here as much.  Anyways today is Pday, and we had zone conference today!! YAY that is what I wanted to do all day!! I don't have a clue why they decided to do it today but our whole Pday was shot! Elder A. (our area president) is on a mission tour with Pres B. and so they held a zone conference for our zone today from Nassau, which we weren't invited to again :( So zone conference just barely was pretty good. Since we don't have a lot of time I have to be quick.  We had a branch pool party this weekend and it was really really good! So many people were there and and about 20 non-members! Boo Yah!  We had a bounce house and a cotton candy machine and snow cones.  We had BBQ chicken, steak, ribs, hamburgers, and hot dogs, and an unlimited supply!! It was so awesome!! It is so awesome! It seems like everything I have done here so far is prepare for parties and baptisms. Ok jk that was a joke but the branch has so many activities that they go all out on, and especially in this upcoming month!!

We also had a baptism on Saturday! R. got baptized! It was at the church this time, we thought about doing it in the pool but the more we thought about it we decided that it wouldn't be good to tie a party and baptism together, but that was Saturday night and it was great!

I am scared for Thanksgiving, we have so many meal appointments planned, this is going to be bad! We had one Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and I was hurting after it, plus she sent us home with so many leftovers! I’m going to be eating turkey for weeks and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! This meal was after a branch luncheon, oh yeah another activity yesterday hosted by the relief society after a visiting teaching seminar or something. Anyways it has been really good! Can't believe I am at 9 months, could've had a baby in that amount of time! Well have a good week! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Love Ya

Love Elder Harris
Six cruise ship day!

Sign that should be on Jay Leno!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Most Beautiful Ocean Ever!

Well last week I said was a really good week, and this week was even better! To start off we had another baptism this week!! R. got baptized!! He is awesome!! He is so solid and he isn't just a spectator, ever since he first started coming he knew why he was there, to learn and contribute, and that is exactly what he has done! He is going to be such a great addition to this branch. Pres J. at his baptism told him that they already have a calling for him so to be prepared for that soon! Speaking of baptism, he got baptized at S. Cove as well!  That place is so beautiful, oh and by the way he picked me to baptize him!! What I am saying is that I got to go in the most beautiful ocean ever while I am on my mission!! Man it was so nice! The water was so warm and calm and I did not want to get out!! R. walked out pretty deep so that meant I had to follow him out there too! It was an unforgettable experience! I am so glad he chose me!
Well Ro. passed his interview yesterday too so he will be getting baptized next Saturday. He is going to have his uncle baptize him.  Next Saturday we are also having a branch pool party at a members house here, well one of their houses here, they are super loaded so they have a couple.  But it is a very very (Millions of dollars) nice house and they wanted to host this party.  So we were talking to Bro V. last night, he is in the branch presidency and he was like, "Why don't we just baptize him in the pool after the branch party, members would be there already, and it would be fun and unique." So that isn't official but it has a high possibility of happening! That would be so sick!!! Man I love this branch.
BTW my immigration paperwork is all figured out. They just ended up buying me local health insurance since the government was kinda being, well kind of being how any government is I guess.  They only bought me that because they had to, they can't keep doing it because it would just be so much money to do that for every missionary out here especially since they want to add more missionaries out here.  But I am good now!! I hope!! State side missionaries are so lucky they don't have to deal with visa stuff!!
Anyways back to my week.  We went and visited a former investigator on Tuesday, his name is H. J. We have met with him before he is a funny guy. Well we got there and there was a Jehovah Witness there. Apparently Harry is joining that church.  We were nice for a while, then he started to try and "prove" how he is right, we let him go for a couple minutes cuz he thought he was awesome, then we totally threw down on everything he said, used the bible to cross reference and show that Jehovah is Jesus> He still wasn't backing down so then I just threw out the big question for Jehovah Witness's, "Who is Taze Russel?" If you ever want a JW to walk away ask that question.  Works like a charm every time! I guess you could google him if you want to know about him. Anyways we don't like to bible bash so me and my comp resolved to never bible bash again.  Anyways Wednesday rolls around and a member of the branch calls us and says that she met this guy on the plane and how she was talking to him and he wants to talk to us. We were like wow, a member doing missionary work that's great! We were wrong. We call her to confirm the appointment on Thursday with her and she tells us that he is 7th day, and that we need to come prepared.  We were like we talk to 7th days all the time, there's nothin that we can't handle. Well we got to the church cuz that is where we agreed to meet. We look out side and then not 1, not 2, but 3 cars show up. We were like, woah, we weren't expecting that!  Well we watch 3 big dudes get out of the cars, in their blinging apparel and whatnot.  To make it short, they were the 3 top leaders of the 7th day church in Cayman.  All they did was try to prove how they were right, we would counter it.  Anyways we were able to answered every single one of their questions/ concerns with correct LDS doctrine, even though they didn't agree with it at all.  They came to fight though, and would barely let Elder Runyan and I talk.  They wanted to meet with us again, but we said basically that as missionaries we are here to teach, not to try and be taught. If you want to sincerely listen to and learn about our beliefs we would love to meet with you guys again, but if those aren't your intentions we won't meet with you.  They said well in that case we don't need to keep meeting.  We bore testimony, invited them to pray and ask if what we taught them was true, gave them a Book of Mormon, and left.  We for real this time aren't going to bible bash again, Thursday we were just put between a rock and a hard spot not knowing that there would be 3 pastors there!! The member knew that the one was high up in the church, but she didn't know that he would bring 2 others with him. Anyways it was fun and it was definitely a learning experience.  The biggest thing I got out of it was a stronger testimony of what I already believe.
Well that's our week in a nutshell. We taught zone meeting this week and it went really well. Transfers were also this week again, our zone is staying the same. The off islands, zone leaders, and AP's all stayed the same so kind of a boring transfers this week. We also broke the record for baptisms in our zone this week, and also doubled the previous mission record for baptisms in a week this past week, the work is hastening!! I am glad to be apart of it! Peace!
Love Elder Colton Harris


Monday, November 11, 2013

Making this Blog Private...

Within the next week or two, I will be making Colton's blog private which means it will only be viewable to those who are invited.  If you would like to be able to continue to view his blog, please send me an email and I will make sure to include you!  Thanks for all your support of Colton!

Cayman Gets Better and Better!

Dear everyone!
Well just when you think that your area can't get any better, Cayman goes and proves ya wrong and you end up having a week like we had!! Thursday we had Mission Leader Council and it was really good!! We talked about a lot of awesome stuff that is coming up, at least for everyone in Jamaica.  The mission is organizing a huge Christmas celebration, i don't even know really , but they are expecting a combined amount of people, missionaries, members, less actives, and investigators of almost 1,000 people to attend this. It is going to be a huge production, meant for families to bring their less active and non member friends to.  it sounds really fun.  We were sad we were going to miss it so Sis Brown brought up the idea to broadcast it to all the off island areas, so we get to watch it now, same idea out here is to get a lot of people to come and watch it.  Pres Brown also brought up the idea of flash mobbing some malls in Kingston with missionaries singing hymns and handing out flyers for it.  Flash mobbing isn't in preach my gospel about ways to find people but hey whatever gets the job done.  I love having a young mission president.
This week was Pirates Week here and man so many people come for this! We went to the fireworks out over the ocean on Friday with some members, that was really fun, they were really good.  On Saturday I probably ate more food then I ever have in my life.  We went to a brunch party thing for a senior missionary couple that used to serve here, some people in the branch did that for them. Then we went to lunch at the R's house. That's always good on Saturdays.  We then went to the Pirates Week parade. Wow that was an experience.  It was not a 24th of July parade in Beaver, and I will tell you I like the 24th parade better. There was only 8 floats, but the parade took and hour and a half cuz they would drive for ten seconds, park for 15 minutes.  Every single float was who could put the biggest speaker system on a semi trailer and put one or two logos of your company on it somewhere, and just have a lot of people dressed up as pirates.  Anyways, we had a baptism on Saturday!! E. got baptized by her dad. The baptism was in the ocean and it was beautiful!! There was a rainbow directly out over the ocean the whole time!! E. loved that! I loved having it at the ocean, it was so pretty and peaceful! We have another baptism there this Saturday, R. already passed his interview! Yay! 
Have a good week. Love you all.
Love Elder Colton Harris
Rainbow where the baptism was held

Colton's caption for this picture was
"I told you all I'd be famous in Cayman!"
Some of the speakers on a float

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mormon Helping Hands and Iguana Hunting!

Hello once again.  Well it looks like everything is going really good at home and that you had a good week! So this week has been a freaking good week here.  It has also been a really busy week.  So this week we have been focusing a lot on R., R., and E.  We have had some really awesome lessons with them.  We just realized that we haven't been putting a focus on finding a lot of other people to teach tho so our teaching pool is a little low which isn't good, but we will find people. The members got a big boost to do missionary work last week while pres was here so that will be good for us.  We have already seen a huge difference in them, the key is to keep fanning that flame so it doesn't die out like it usually does.  We'll try, easier said then done. But we should have 2 baptisms for sure this week granted that they pass their interviews, but most likely 3 baptisms for us. The work is progressing here and it is fun to be apart of!
Anyways, this weekend was super busy for us.  We trick-or-treated one house on Halloween (our landlord's family who lives right below us who are also members). That was fun, so I didn't go totally candyless this Halloween!  Elder Runyan and I bought these masks a couple weeks ago and were going to use them to scare people but we never did so we thought that using them to trick or treat in was a good idea.
On Friday night our branch had a 50's theme branch party/dance.  It was really fun. This branch knows how to have fun, and they like to do it as often as they can so it's good for us.  We also had 4 investigators show up to that so it was good all around.
On Saturday we had a big service project in the branch.  It was an area wide day of service, so Hatti, Cuba, Jamaica, etc all did service that day. It was a 'Mormon Helping Hands' service project so we got the T-shirts and everything.  We basically went Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on this old guy in a wheel chairs' house! It was really neat.  His little old home got completely flooded to the ceiling with about 10 feet of water 10 years ago by a hurricane and hasn't been good since.  He was able to get it livable by some government grants but it still needed a lot of help!! There were bout 50 members from the branch show up, which is outstanding!! We put in new light fixtures, painted inside and out, fixed electrical wiring problem, cleaned everything, cleared a huge pile of stacked up trees and stuff, and so much more. It was an awesome day.  We got a lot of publicity too because it was right on a pretty busy road.  There was this couple from Idaho that was stopped on the cruise ship and rented a scooter to drive around the island, and when they saw the Tshirts they stopped to talk to us. They were members and they stopped and helped paint for like 2 hours.  Some recent converts were like, in what other religion would someone that is stopped in Cayman on a cruise for only a couple hours, stop and do service for someone they don't even know.  It touched them a lot, they know now that these members of this church really are different than most of the other world. It was cool.  So the local newspaper was there and did a story on it and took pictures, so what I am saying is that I will be famous in Cayman soon.  I know I'm a big deal. And the house was across the street from a 7th day church, and after their service the pastor came over and just thanked us so much.  He knows the guy pretty well and was just blown away. He said he has always wanted to come visit our church and so we told him the times.  He also said that he would like to team up with his congregation and ours for a service project in the future. This was an amazing missionary tool!!
Yesterday at church was good as well!
This morning we went iguana hunting with a member! It was so fun! We only caught a baby one, (Still about 2 and a half feet long) so we let it go cuz it wouldn't have fed all of us. Oh yeah we were going to cook it up and eat it too!  We are going hunting again so we will get some to eat next time.  Iguanas are EVERYWHERE here.  They are honestly like jack rabbits in Utah, if not more.  They are dead on the streets all over.
Well have a good week guys, enjoy the snow!!! Love ya!
Love, Elder Colton Harris

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Have the Best Mission President!

Wow it has been another week.  The weeks are flying by here, and it hit me how fast they are flying by this week. So when we get to Cayman we are here on a 3 month work permit and when we get her we have to apply for a one year work permit.  It takes about 6 weeks for the government to process the paperwork and I thought I had plenty of time.  Well it has almost been 2 months that I have been out here and so now I need to rush. I guess some things never change! #procrastination!!  So this week has been amazing!! Tuesday I was kind of sick, I felt like crap but was still out all day.  At least we got free Wendy's that day. There is a member of the branch that works there so every Tuesday she hooks up with free Wendy's so that is always good! So we had zone conference on Friday. It was really, really good. I love learning from Pres B!  We skyped into Nassau and Turks skyped as well so since we had 3 cameras we could only have audio not video, it was still good tho.  Then on Saturday Prez and his wife flew out here.  I felt like the mission president as we waited for him at the airport and he walked off the plane.  Then we loaded them up in our car and took them to their condo. Btw (By-the-way) we hooked presy up with a condo right on 7 mile beach, usually about $800 a night, yeah we got it for free for him. We are cool like that.  So he was busy the whole time. I have so much respect for him.  He is so consecrated.  Imma big him up (Patois for brag) for a second cuz I have the best mission president.  So he had to quite his job at age 36, sell his house and cars, move his family. He has 4 kids between 2 and 13.  He has all the normal mission president stuff to do plus he has to do it on 5 different islands and 4 different countries. On top of that he is the ecclesiastical leader of about 28 branches. There is no one else that can interview for temple recommends or certain callings so he has to do that for every member who needs one of those. He doesn't have any councilors that are authorized to do that like stake presidents have, it has to be him.  His travel schedule is crazy. This week him and his wife spent a couple day in the Bahamas, then a couple days here in Cayman, got back home late last night, they then flew to Santa Domingo early this morning and will be there for a week, then he will be home for just a few days then he is going to Cuba for a few days. That is typical for him and his wife.  Plus his branch presidents and their councilors, most are either first generation members and new members as well so he has so much training to do with them.  I cannot believe how amazing they are. Anyways, the branch loved them this weekend and we did too. It was really fun. So we are working with a lot of cool people still.  We have 4 baptisms scheduled for the 9th of November, I think 3 of them will make that date so we are excited! :) Church was amazing because pres and his wife spoke.  We had so many people at church.  Pres talked about how he was here 10 years ago for his job and they met in a little rented space and didn't even fill that up.  Now we have our own building and it is completely full, actually overflowing. They are making plans to expand the building. The work in progressing!! So many tourists are here on the island since it is fall break, and they say it will only get more busy for the next 4 months. We had a member take us to Margaritaville this morning with her grand kids. Margaritaville is the best place on the island by far! You know you are doing good when you get meal appointments at Margaritaville! :) We have another planned this week as well!! We also went to Hell (a group of limestone rock formations that is a tourist attraction)this morning.  Anyways have a good week! Good luck in football! Happy birthday Taggart and happy Halloween!! Love you guys!
Love Elder Colton Harris

Monday, October 21, 2013

Walking on water...

It has been another week! I can't believe that it is almost the end of October already!  Well this week has been a really good week! So not too much has been going on. Same old same old things around here. So a cool experience yesterday.  At church I walked out of priesthood to go and get more books from the library and when I walked out I saw 3 people walking in in street clothes.  I went over and talked to them.  They were members from Utah (not suprising, tourist members are always from Utah) but they said that they were here on a cruise on Thursday and while they were here they went snorkeling and their husband/father/or father-in-law depending on which of the 3 you were talking to lol was in a near drowning accident.  He was unconscious on the beach for a while and they were doing CPR on him. The son in law did a blessing real quick right on the beach.  After they got him to the hospital and things calmed down they started looking for the missionaries.  The numbers and addresses online that they were looking at were wrong so they couldnt get a hold of us.  They tried finding us and driving around town to look for the building. When they had given up and were on the way back to the hospital on Sunday they saw our church builing on the road when they were driving past.  It took them a long time but they finally found it, and it wasn't a coincidence.  They walked in and told me the story and said that they would like to stay for the last half hour of church then we could go by the hospital with them to give him a blessing with oil since he didnt have any the first time.  It was a neat experience.  The guy's name was R. and he was a funny guy even though he was in a lot of pain we could tell.  Thank goodness for the priesthood!! So this week we also gave E. a baptism date, she is the 10 year old daughter of the recent converts, K and T.  R. and R. the following week. We are excited.  Well have a good week! Love you all!
Love Elder Colton Harris

Monday, October 14, 2013

Our whole zone is going to Nassau, Bahamas! Wait, except for us...the zone leaders!?!

Well it sounds like you guys have a crazy week at home!, but also a
good one.  So this week was good again.  We got the news about where
zone conference is going to be held! Our whole zone is going to
Nassau, Bahamas!!!!...except for us... don't ask me why.  One of the
AP's used to serve in Cayman so he weaseled his way into coming out
here to visit.  So that news sucked.  A zone conference without the
zone leaders, tell me how that one works out!? Whatever I guess, we
are just going to have a very one on one zone conference the Pres. and
Sis. B. and the Assistants.  So onto other news.  Not much has
happened this week.  We had a pretty good zone meeting this week on
Wednesday.  We also had a branch movie night on Friday.  That was
really fun, a whole lot of candy, pocorn and soda! We watched Ephraim's
Rescue and it was a really good movie!! IDK if it actually was a
really good movie or if I was just so excited that it wasn't Joseph
Smith: Prophet of the Restoration again!!! was a good movie. So
R. came to church yesterday.  He is the one who has been having to
work on Sundays so he couldn't come to church but he switched jobs
this week and is on date for the 26th of this month.  Ro. is also
doing really well.  He came to the movie night and to church this
Sunday.  He is the one who came to 3 sessions of GC and took notes
even! He is getting so involved in the branch.  It's awesome.  He even
knows a couple people really well too here.  So there is also this
inactive lady that we found who came to church yesterday.  She was
baptized when she was 8 in Brazil.  Her family is really solid.  Her dad
used to be a stake president and everything.  She moved out here 19
years ago and hasn't been to church once.  She came yesterday and the
spirit just hit her like a ton of bricks.  I'm pretty sure she won't
be missing another Sunday for awhile.  She realized what has been
missing for so long from her life! She has a son that's of baptismal
age too.  She is like best friends with 4 families in the branch and
none of them knew that each other were members, which blows my mind.
That shouldn't ever happen.  But she was fellowshiped good lol.
That's about it.  I love you all. Have a good week :)
Love Elder Colton Harris

Monday, October 7, 2013

Just go out of your comfort zone a little bit...

One more week is in the books! Crazy to think about! Actually it has
been another transfer! Transfer calls were this Saturday, it's crazy to
think that it has been 1 whole month since I got the news about
Cayman, and that today actually marks one month since I flew into this
island! Time is going fast! Well this week was a good week. General
Conference was really good. I got to watch all 5 sessions, and stayed
awake for them all!! A lot of really good talks were given this
weekend, even on some topics that don't normally get emphasized too
much.  But it was perfect! I really liked S. Gifford Neilson, he had a
really good message, but I think I liked it because he threw some
football into it. Yeah maybe that was why I liked it?! Well I don't
need a conference ensign sent to me mom, we get those out here.  So we
had a couple investigators show up this weekend to conference, but one
showed a lot of desire.  His name is R.  He came to a session on
Saturday and both sessions on Sunday.  He was so interested.  All he
did was get invited to church by a member here in Cayman who is a
returned missionary who works as a waitress and she just invites
everyone I guess. So he was just one of her customers and he took her
up on the offer and now he has a baptism date foe November 2! Great
things can happen if we just put forth a little bit of effort and
just go out of our comfort zone a little bit.  This week we had MLC
(Mission Leader Council) with Pres and Sis B. and other mission
leaders. It was really good.  Everything that I felt was a theme at
conference he felt were important issues right now in the mission.
Everything from miracles, to stress management, to keeping covenant...
let’s just say he is inspired.  Well not too much other news happening
out here.  Glad to hear the football team is doing good! So I forgot
to mention in my last email, but last Thursday was the annual Branch
Talent show.  Every year they make the missionaries do something in it
as well.  Well surprise surprise neither one of us have any talent so we
pondered long and hard about what to do. Then inspiration happened, a
little kid in the branch named L. said "Let’s do the Harlem
Shake!" We were like well that takes no talent at all so that's a
perfect thing to do!! So we did the Harlem Shake for the branch with
the 10 year old as the lead guy or whatever you want to call him.
Super cheesy but I don't care, it's over with lol.  It ended up pretty
good.  Well have a good week everyone! Love you all!
Love Elder Harris
Colton ran into two LDS families last P-day.  One texted us a picture of them with Colton and his companion.  The other sent me an email today with a couple of pictures.  It is nice to know that church members worldwide are looking out for our missionaries!  Thank you from an appreciative mom!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Another Week in Paradise, um, I mean Cayman!

Well here I am again, emailing home.  This week was another good week in the mission field. Tuesday night we had dinner with C. and P.   They invited one of their neighbors over for dinner and had us over and it was a really good time.  We got to know their neighbor who is named L. and she is really interested in the church and hearing more so that was a really good time. Hopefully things continue to go well with her as we teach her this week.  We also had a good lesson with one of our investigators named R.  He is the husband of a member here and he is really cool.  He had a birthday party at his house this week and he invited us over, it was a good time, Filipinos know how to cook! :)  He has a baptism date for Oct 26.  He has been working on Sundays for years and he finally has gotten a new job that doesn't have him work on Sundays and he starts that next week so we are excited about that.  His wife and he are really excited to be sealed in the temple someday.  They have seen how the Lord can work in their lives since they had faith and a desire to follow the Savior.  This week we also were invited over to Elder and Sister B's house for dinner.  They are a full time proselyting senior couple in the Salt Lake City South mission but have a condo here so they came for a few weeks.  We had tacos and they were so good, my first taco in over 7 months!! :) Anyways my bike is being used in Jamaica by Elder A., he is who I replaced out here. He had to use mine cuz a different missionary is using his cuz the other missionary’s bike got stolen while Ambrose was in Cayman so he took the only spare bike if that makes sense. My comp is from Orem, Elder R.  I live in a good neighborhood.  My apartment is good.  I might have said this before but hot water, couch, patches of carpet, a microwave, AC, and a laundry mat across the street.  Don't let any missionaries in Jamaica know about that cuz they will probably start crying ;) Oh and last night I was at Pres J’s house, our branch president and his daughter has a book with all the missionaries that have served here and like a picture of them or something and I was going through it and saw J. S. I didn't know he served here but you can tell him that I saw his pic in H. W.’s journal.  Small world.  Anyways have a good week. When is the deer hunt? Do you guys have tags? Get a big one so you can send me some jerky! :) haha that's funny ...they aren't going to get one ;) jk jk anyways love you guys.  Bye.

Love, Elder Colton Harris  


Monday, September 23, 2013

Margaritaville Burger Challenge

Once again it has been one more week.  This week has been a good one too.  We have stayed pretty busy this week, ha except in the mornings.  It is so hard to find people to teach in the mornings here.  In order to live in Cayman you have to have a job, unless your an actual Caymanian, but most people here are foreigners so they have to have a job.  So it is nearly impossible to find people to teach before 5 o'clock.  After 5 we are always super loaded cuz that's the time that everyone gets off work so we are always rushing around trying to visit people.  At 5 traffic is also super bad too.  For some reason I never pictured there being rush hour on an Island but there is, and it gets super bad.  Cars will be lined up for miles so at our busiest time to see people, it is also our hardest time to get around. We make it work tho. I shouldn't be complaining. At least I am sitting in AC and not on a bicycle!!!
I also gave a talk last week in church.  So K. and T., some recent converts, were who I was talking with that day.  The sacrament got over at 10:25.  They both gave 3 min talks.  Our middle hymn was #242, the shortest hymn in all of the hymn book.  Then I had a half hour to talk, that wasn't very fun. I didn't talk for the whole 30 mins but got close to it.
Well this week we got a referral from Sis J., our branch presidents wife. They have a condo that they rent out so she said we should go there and tell them that we are looking for the J's since they used to live there.  So we did that and we met this Jamaican girl and after she told us that they don't live there anymore we started talking about church and stuff.  Our plan worked out perfect! She let us come back and teach her, I love Jamaicans, they're always down to talk about God as they say.  She didn't show up to church tho, I think she got called into work, but hopefully next week she comes.  We were also able to have a lesson with a guy named K, he used to live in Spanish Town and came to church a couple times while I was there, but the other missionaries were teaching him.  He moved to Cayman because he got a job, he came to church this Sunday as well so that was cool to see him again and hopefully good things happen there!
Well this week has been quite the week for food.  Thursday we were driving around about lunch time and Elder R. was like, "Hey you want a free burger?"   I said, Um, yeah.  Duh!!"  He's like alright let's go.  So we go to Margaritaville and they have a burger challenge.  I said what the heck, let's do it.  So we go there and it's pretty busy.  There are 2 cruise ships in so a lot of people were there and they have a stage and whoever does the challenge is supposed to sit on this stage. Well we talked them into letting us not go up there to do it.  We had 15 mins to do the challenge!  I was doing so good at the beginning until I got to the bottom 2 patties and the bottom bun, they put so much mustard on it!! I almost puked because of that!! I had to scrape it all off and that took like 30 precious seconds.  Needless to say we both lost. It was 2 lbs of meat and 2 lbs like bun, pickle, and fries.  So 4 lbs of food, I almost had it. Another minute and I would have had it, and they bring it out boiling hot so it's hard to eat anyways it was fun. EXTREMELY unhealthy but still we had fun, until we got the bill and it was $30 US a piece, anyways whoops shouldn't have done that. So that was Thursday.  So Friday at this Restaurant called Rackam's they have free food every Friday night. They do it to get people in to buy a lot of drinks but we didn't do that.  We just went and sat on these couches outside that were overlooking the ocean, ordered a soda and ate a whole lot of BBQ chicken wings and curry cheese fries.  We saw a whole bunch of HUGE fish, between 3 to 5 feet long and threw french fries in the water and watched them eat it. That is going to become a Friday night tradition now. Oh we had a dinner appointment after that too and got fed pizza, great night!  I could get used to Cayman it is a good thing I am going back to Jamaica for a year to lose all the weight that I put on out here!
Well I also have a new mailing address, send everything to this address for the next couple months.

Elder Colton Harris
Jamaica Kingston Mission
Ky1-1010 P.O. 11918
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

I found out that I won't get letters sent to the Jamaica address until I go back, and if you got an email from the mission office saying what our address is, disregard it.  That's our house address and we don't get mail there so it will be sent back to ya.  Well love you guys! Glad you guys had fun at Lawernce Welk. Have a good week! 
Love Elder Colton Harris

Margaritaville Burger Challenge

So close...and yet so far!  It's all that darned mustard he had to scrape off!

Anyone up for some fishing?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Question #37

Hello once again. Once again a week has come and gone, my first official full week in Grand Cayman and it is still pretty awesome. This week was a pretty busy one.  Well the work is still going forward here.  Elder Runyan and I have been working really hard and soon we will see the fruits f all of that hard work.  We are working with the daughter of a recently baptized couple out here. They were baptized about 3 weeks ago and are preparing on going to the temple.  I told you about the members that we met at Rum Point on Tuesday that said they want to come out teaching with us.  Well we invited them to this lesson to talk about families and temple sealings and stuff and it was such a good lesson.  They connected so well with them and since they were just sealed like 4 days prior to the lesson they just had a lot of convincing power with them so I am glad that they insisted on coming out with us.  After that lesson they took us out to dinner so that was a bonus as well.  It was a pretty nice restaurant and our table was over top of the water on the beach, don't tell the missionaries in Jamaica about that one!! :) On Wednesday Elder Runyon and I conducted our first zone meeting, it was over skype so it was a little bit weird at first but it turned out to be really good.  We actually just barely got out of a meeting on skype as well, Pres Brown and Elder Anderson of the area presidency talked to all the off island missionaries today, that was a pretty good meeting too.  So we have been working with a really awesome couple out here, the W's.  He was baptized about 3 or 4 years ago and she just got baptized about 6 months ago.  She had cancer and so she is still recovering from that but I love going over to their house.  He studies the gospel like nobody's business, and he can recall anything that he has read before.  He showed me his journals that he kept before he was baptized about questions he had and when he found the church, the Book of Mormon answered every single question that he had, and don't get me wrong these weren't your typical investigator questions, these were all deep and extremely profound.  I almost feel bad for whatever missionaries had to teach him, I am sure they had a lot of help from some solid members though.  So before I knew about all of this stuff we were over visiting with them and we shared a message and then asked if they had any other questions about anything and he said which one of the 55 questions that I have do you want to answer?  And then me just being me I guess said throw us number 37! He then stood up, went over to the counter, grabbed this notebook and turned to question 37.  We actually were able to answer that one pretty well, it was about the Holy Ghost, but I went through all the questions in the book and some of them are too deep for me so I am glad I chose number 37!  He is also loaded $$$ wise!  He used to own a Canadian Football League team, the Montreal somethin somethins.  This guy loves football like I have never seen before. It doesn't matter if it is CFL, NFL, or NCAA he will go very far out of his way to make sure and watch it and his wife is the same way.  That is what is cool about Cayman, we teach some very loaded people, and then we could have a lesson in an area that feels just like Jamaica.  It is so diverse here.  People from so many different countries and races and backgrounds.  There really is a little bit of everyone here.  Well yesterday we also had to do a financial audit of the branch, that was not very fun at all.  The mission president usually does it but since it is taking so long for him to get a visa he can't come out here.  It took like 3 hours yesterday, it made me not want to be a mission president cuz Pres has 30 branches he has to do that to twice a year, not fun at all but it was an experience that not very many missionaries get I guess.
Well I do like the new wheels you got there dad, nice pick.  The first thought that I had when I saw it was that the steering wheel was on the wrong side, but then I remembered I am in the countries that do that kind of stuff backwards, that will be a nice car for me to take to college when I get home, so thank you so much. ;) Well have a good week in California too mom, tell everyone hi for me. Love you all.
Love Elder Colton Harris
Elders Runyon and Harris

Elder Harris in Grand Cayman

Elder Harris in Grand Cayman

Monday, September 9, 2013

Beautiful Grand Cayman!

Wow so ok, this place is indescribable!! I absolutely love my new area!! Cayman is probably the sickest place on earth! Man it is so amazing!  I just don't want to leave this place, 6 months is going to go by way too fast! Well my flight was good, just a 45 min direct flight from Jamaica.  It was so pretty flying over this island.  The people here are the nicest people in the world too.  It was the best welcome.  The whole branch already knew my name and where I was from before I got here and so I received a lot of texts and calls from members telling me welcome to Cayman.  I guess Austin Myers got a hold of some of the members and told them already so that was really cool.  There is such a variety of people out here.  They love the missionaries and love to feed us too.  I am so excited for that!! And it is normal, good food!! I had my first glass of milk in over 6 months yesterday and it was glorious!! Milk is like $7 US out here though, it is expensive to live out here, and gas is like $7 US too.  Anyways.
So Elder Runyon and I get along really good.  We went to Rum Point this morning to go check it out.  It was a little cloudy but still beautiful!! The first people we see when we walk out on the huge dock they have there as us to take their picture so we did, a couple mins later I am filming a video and I turn around and there they are on a kayak in the water and the guy asks us rally randomly if we are missionaries. They said they knew from our countenance, I don't even really know what that means but we said that we were missionaries and they told us that they were just sealed in the Timpanogas temple 2 nights ago.  The first tourists I meet are Mormon, nice lol. We talked for a while; he is an RM and served in the San Bernardino, CA mission and actually in Victorville.  He was pretty bummed when we told him we have this whole island/country to ourselves.  They actually wanted to come teaching with us. I guess they are here for 10 days and don't have much planned.  They were really adamant about coming teaching with us, so we are going to try and take them to a couple that just got baptized 2 weeks ago and have them talk about temples or families or something and also to a couple we are teaching right now to talk to them about the same thing. 
Well church out here is awesome. There are only about 75 members that showed up, but it runs just like a ward in UT would run, that is such a relief!! As I said the members are amazing!!!
Well back to Jamaica for a couple seconds.  Stacy Mc., the lady I was teaching in Spain got baptized yesterday, that's pretty cool.  I attended Mission Leader Council on Thursday for my first time, and that was pretty cool. Alright that is all that went on in Jamaica this week.
So I do have a story for you.  So on Saturday after I got here Elder Runyon was taking me around to meet people.  So we get to this house and he says that this is the branch president’s house.  He said he doesn't like to be called president so we just call him C. So I say this nice spiritual prayer about how we can help the BP out here in Cayman and then walk up to his door. He answers with no pants on, the house smells like smoke.  He invites us in and is really nice, but kind of weird honestly.  Then this girl shows up and it turns out it is his girlfriend.  She is 33 and he is 67.  Then he offers us wine, we decline, he gets talking about the bible and man he was using "today’s terms" in describing this bible story to us instead of the “Old words”.  There was a lot more that went on but we will just leave it at that.  I walked out of that house and was like Elder Runyon you are the biggest liar!!! He then busted up laughing for like 20 minutes.  It wasn't the branch president, and he thought that I thought it was the whole time.  I did figure a couple mins in that he wasn't the branch president, but C. was the perfect person to try to fake as BP though. It was pretty funny just cuz of all the crazy wild things that happened that wasn't planned.
Well I also met someone that knows one of the Thomas kids, Grandma H’s neighbors.  I forgot who he knew but it was their son that served a mission in Jamaica.  The guy who knew the Thomas kid was named Faulcher (last name). Faulcher was the Thomas' trainer.  Faulcher is the Branch Mission Leader in Boulavard and we were in a correlation meeting with him and he was like reminiscing on his mission and was like, "Beaver, Beaver, Beaver.  That's all I heard about for 3 months was Beaver, UT.  The Beaver Beavers from Beaver High School."  I was like wait what did you say?  He was like Beaver.  I then said that is where I am from and that I know his family.  He thought that was really cool and that he wanted to hear from him, so maybe you could let Paul know.
Well I will definitely enjoy my week here in Cayman; I hope you guys have a good week too.  We see the ocean all the time; in between every appointment we see the most beautiful water in the world.  I don't know what I did to get here, but this is the best area that a missionary could serve in in the entire world, and also the most beautiful zone in the entire world.  It is great. 

Love Elder Colton Harris
Boulavard Kingston

Colton's district in Boulavard Kingston

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman