Monday, June 24, 2013

Livin' Like a High Roller!

Hello once again!  Well another week has flown by; it has been a very, very good week.  Well this week we had Zone Conference.  Friday we spent all day in Kingston again.  This was President Hendricks last Zone Conference and man was it a good one!!! He just threw down on some doctrine and some other things that he felt were very important for us to know.  It was such a good meeting, I love President Hendricks so much I am so grateful for the chance that I had to serve under him for even this short amount of time.  He had so much that he wanted to tell us and by the end when we were running out of time he was just talking so fast and quoting scriptures to save time. I kid you not; I bet that he has all the standard works memorized and then some.  I am betting that next conference he is put in as a general authority.  This Zone Conference was a little bit different than normal Zone Conferences.  Sister Hendricks and one of our AP's were not there.  Last week Pres. and Sis. Hendricks and the APs were in the Bahamas I think for a Zone Conference out there and on their way back they had a layover in Miami and Elder Worley’s appendix burst so they took him to the hospital and he has been in Miami for a week recovering. I think they are coming back tomorrow though.  So that was kind of sad that we weren't able to hear from her at that meeting but it was still good.  This was Elder Nugent’s first Zone Conference as an AP and he had to teach the AP part by himself, he did a really good job though.  This is the Lords work though, serving in Jamaica for almost 2 years and he is on a layover in the states and his appendix bursts.  That is such a better place for it to burst than out here, I bet he and his family were relieved that he is in an American hospital…lol.  Afterwards we went to the food court at some mall and ate and it was pretty good.  I ate at Little Tokyo and it wasn't bad.  It was like a cheap version of Panda but hey it was something different! I accidently watch the highlights from the Finals out of the corner of my eye because it was playing on every tv.  Seemed pretty good, I repented afterwards though!
Well on Wednesday Elder Mathewson was sick so we didn't go out proselyting. I thought that it would be fun to take a day off, and it was for the first couple hours but after that I got so bored.  There is absolutely nothing to do while you are a missionary just sitting at home.  Good thing we have AC at our house though! Well I hope that you guys had a chance to watch the World Wide Mission Presidents Seminar last night.  Holy cow that was quite the meeting! It was so good.  Man some of the changes are going to revolutionize missionary work. We'll see how they all play out I guess.  I can't wait until our next zone conference when President Brown gets back and takes over and instructs us on the changes.  He is in Provo this week, but when he gets back on Friday night he is our new mission president.  I'm excited.  He is going to be so different than Pres. Hendricks was, but he will be very good for the country of Jamaica. 

Well this week has been a pretty good week concerning our investigators as well.  S. is doing GREAT!!! He is such a boss and every lesson we have with him he just has the biggest smile on his face, he loves this gospel.  He even attended the seminar last night and he wants to be a missionary so badly.  We explained that he isn't allowed to be a full time missionary because he is one year over the age and he has a kid, but I love to see the joy that this message brings into his life.  Last night made me remember something, so the second time we ever met S., we had given him a Book of Mormon the previous time when we met him.  But we get looking at the Book of Mormon we gave him the day earlier and underneath Elder Wright and Elder Harris' name when we signed it he wrote Elder S Ha!  Just thought that was a cool little thing. But he is going to be such a good member.  K. is another investigator that we are working with.  We found her through a less active family when Elder Wright and I were trying to prepare them to go to the temple and be sealed; well turns out that they don't want to go to the temple because they tell us that they don't want to live with each other forever.  They have been married for over 30 years and have grown kids and have been members for probably over 20 years but they just don't want to be together forever.  It's like really?  You’re old, you’re not going to find anyone else but I guess we will keep working with them. Tthey obviously don't understand the doctrine but that's just the side story.  Them referring K. to us and being present at most of her lessons has been a really awesome blessing for the whole family.  They have started coming back to church more regularly and it's just been good.  Next Saturday we should be having 2 baptisms, K. and S. so hopefully everything goes well there!
Well it sounds like everything is going good for you guys.  Mom I wonder if you could overnight some Olive Garden breadsticks to me with Global Mission Shipping?  Just a thought but it sounds like a good thought to me!!  My meals everyday consist of corn flakes with powdered milk for breakfast, a box of mac n cheese for lunch but made with just water no milk or butter like you’re supposed to, and a top ramen/rice soup, beef flavored obviously so that I can remember what beef tastes like and a slice of bread with all of these meals.  Livin' like a high roller!!! WUZ UP!!!!  But I did get the package on Thursday.  Thank you for it.  Thank you for the picture Marissa; and for the story, Taggart; it was amazing; and for the notes mom and dad.  Devin and Treyson, I'm disappointed. I guess that means you have to send me another package with something from them I guess ;)  But I can't really think of anything that I desperately need right now mom.
Well I hope you guys have another good week!! I'll talk to ya next week! Love ya, bye.
Elder Harris

Monday, June 17, 2013

Great Perspecitive on Life and Death

Hello everyone!! Well it has once again been another week, everything is still going good here. So I did hear about the news of Grandma Newman, this morning Sis Evans from the mission office called and let me know.  It is truly such a blessing to have this gospel in our lives and to know the things we do.  Grandma Newman truly is in a better place.  I am so grateful to have had Grandma Newman in my life, she truly was one of the most pure and Christ-like persons I know.  I am grateful for everything that Grandma Newman has done not only for me but for every single person that she came in contact with.  She was a great example and anyone who would follow the example she has set will turn out better than great during this life.  This has really got me thinking about how death separates us from most of the world.  The world loves to mourn and be sad, and that is totally okay to a certain extent because they will be missed for a certain amount of time.  The world also likes to be joyful and happy and so excited when a baby is born, and that also is fine, but in all reality that baby has just entered into the most difficult, trying, challenging step of the Plan of Salvation. That baby just left the presence of Heavenly Father and was thrown into this wicked world.  That is necessary in our efforts to become like our Heavenly Father, but this is a time that we should be happy for Grandma Newman.  The veil has been lifted, she has been "taken home to that God who gave her life" (Alma 40: 11)  What better knowledge could we ask for than knowing that she is in Gods presence. She was very righteous and is now in a state of happiness, or paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where she is resting from all troubles and cares. (Alma 40:12) I turned to the scriptures for comfort, and another one was 2 Nephi 9:13.  She will be missed, but we will reunite again someday.  She was definitely and angel in disguise while she was here on this earth.  I love her very much, I love Grandpa Newman very much as well.  Thank you both for everything you have done for me and for the example you have been to me.
Missions are not easy, but at times like this I realize what the gospel has done for me and continues to do for me.  It has given me so much more comfort and knowledge and I want as many people as possible to receive those same blessings that we have.  This week was a good week, we found an awesome new young man to work with named G.  He is a stud and will get baptized someday.  We found him at an inactives house, that's how we find out here.  We don't tract, actually were not allowed to tract.  We find through less actives and inactives.  Elder Cornish from the 70 told us that Less Actives are the key to missionary work because members don't have friends, they have meetings.  So that is a finding effort that we are implementing pretty hardcore and it has been working great.  We were also instructed to use the keys in the branch so we asked our branch president how we could best help him and what his vision was for the branch and he told us 100% attending sacrament.  There are 330 members in this branch and 134 showed up yesterday for church and that is the most at church ever for this branch, but he said it is still not good enough. Go out and find until all are found. (Luke 15)
We are still working with S., he is progressing pretty well, he is such a stud and loves when we come over.  All the time he asks when we can come over and just spend all day with him teaching him from the Book of Mormon.  Told him we can't do that and he said well what about a half a day.  Told him we can't do that either but that we will come everyday for an hour and disappointedly accepted that  He absolutely loves this gospel, it is really cool to watch his face light up every time he learns something new.
Well time is running out and I did want to say Happy Fathers day Dad!!! I love you and I am so grateful for all that you have done for me and for the great example you are to me.  There is this song called Finally Home by Mercy Me that we listen to quite a bit out here and it always makes me think of you  I am very blessed to have the parents that I do.  Thank you and I love you.  Have another good week, tell all the family in California hi for me.  Have a good fun safe week.  I'll talk to ya again next week! Bye
Elder Colton Harris 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Things I've Eaten...

Hey how are you guys?? :) I'm sure you guys are doing just fine since you are in California this week!!! That sounds like a blast, I am not going to lie I am kind of jealous.  I miss those summer vacations, but the work is moving steady down here.  It has been a pretty solid week.  I got my new comp, Elder Mathewson and we are just tearing this area apart.  I was worried that it would be difficult to lead an area but it isn't at all.  Elder Mathewson is a pretty cool guy, he is from Vegas and has been out a year.  We teach well together, he is a little bit on the quiet side which is the exact opposite then Elder Wright was so I have been having alot bigger part in the lessons which has been really good for me.  We still have some pretty good investigators plus we have some that we are going to drop soon but that's alright, we have been finding alot of really cool people too.  We have been working hard and it will start to pay off soon I think.  Well this week has just been blistering hot!!! I thought that it was blistering hot when I got here in March but I forgot that that was their winter months as well.  It is just always so so hot, it just never cools off and there isn't anywhere to go to cool off. Lessons are always taught on their veranda (front porch) and in our house you just get home open the doors and windows turn on the fans and blow 97 degree air around all day and night and during studies, I basically just sweat constantly here.  I'm pretty sure I have not been fully dry since I got here.  I am sitting in this internet cafe emailing just sweatin cuz you guessed it all they have is the door opened for ventalaion and that doesn't work too well, I guess that is a contributor the the 20 pounds I lost my first month out here. But remember how Elder Cornish of the 70 came last week and spoke to us, well he also spoke to priesthood leaders and leaders of other auxilaries in meetings throughout last weekend and that has just gotten most people in the branch to start getting excited about missionary work which is really good.  Not only missionary work but just to really tell them the responsibilities that they need to be taking care of as leaders and stuff which is good because it will help the branch start working better, most of these members are first generation members and aren't quite sure how everything is supposed to be ran but they are trying hard to improve and it is cool to see.  But we had our elders quorum president call us and set up a meeting to go over less actives that we could group up together and go visit.  We also had a meeting with our branch mission leader, he is a old guy, recent convert but he is trying super hard to do the best he can.  He told us the other day that he wants to be the best branch mission leader in the world but that he just doesn't know what he is supposed to do.  Us missionaries in the branch were like crap that is kind of on us for not helpin him out so we have been having some meetings with him, and he has gotten really excited about helping us out, we need to keep the fire that Elder Cornish put under these people going for a while and it will help the work out so much. 

Well this week we had lunch at a members house, she cooked stewed pork with rice.  It was really gross, it wasn't normal pork at all.  It was pig tail and basically pig skin.  It was just solid chunks of fat and the tail was pretty much just bone.  But the chunks of fat had hair on it still.  It was flat out disgusting!  I ate most of it but we then asked her for a refill on our waters so that she could go into the kitchen and so I could dump alot of food on Elder Wrights plate who just loved that lunch. It reminded me of the bet I made with Russ for $50 but even worse cuz it had a terrible flavo, not a nice ham flavor. Just so ya know Russ I could finish that bet now!! ;) I have eatin some pretty crazy stuff now: cow skin, cow foot, tripe, pig skin, pig tail, ox (cow) tail, curry goat, and i'm sure that more crazy stuff will come eventually.

Mom you need to check out Global Mission Shipping.  It sends pacages here in 2 days and it is half the cost of the post office.  It is a legit thing not somethin that I am making up, they send it through DHL which sends all the church supplies and stuff around that world, tell me what you find out about int next week.
Well it sounds like Mohler is just lovin it in Oregon, especially with all of that AMAZING looking food!! Jealous about that one too.  Adam at a Yankees game, a joke you tell!!! <--- that is a likkle bit of patois. ;)  That sounds super fun tho! Well I hope that you guys continue to have fun in California, tell everyone down there hi for me! :) Well I love you guys, happy Fathers Day Soon Dad!!! Well I'll talk to ya next week. Love ya!!

Love Elder Colton Harris

So one more quick story since I have some time.  It is a story about a guy named A.  He isn't a member but has started to come to church the past couple weeks.  Well he is this old guy who can barely walk, doesn't talk very good but he is still at church every week.  To get to church it takes him about 2 hours to walk every sunday cuz his house is pretty far away.  Well he always brings a big bag of Mangoes and passes them out to everyone till he runs out.  Well Bro L., a member here took him home yesterday and he said that he is living in a 12' by 12' board house thing with no roof, just a piece of zink (tin) to cover him partially from wind rain and sun.  He probably only eats things that he kind find on the ground like mangoes and stuff.  Such humble circumstances, some people literally have nothing here yet their faith is so strong.  If there were ever a people on this earth that need the good news that is the Gospel it would be people out here.  Bro L. actually took work off today 

and gathered up some supplies and went over to help build it up better, he is in the middle of moving across town as well and he just dropped everything to help him out. People in the church are great everywhere and it is good to know that people have your back and are willing to help you out when you need it.  Well have a good day I just thought I would throw that in. Bye.

"Me struttin' my stuff in the wind"


"Me and my comp on transfers"

Monday, June 3, 2013

Really good week in JamRock

Hello everyone!! Well it has been another week. It has been a very good week as well.  But before I get started I just want to send my condolences to the Burkes.  That is very sad and very tragic.  I loved that kid a lot.  (One of Colton’s friends who just graduated a week ago drowned in Minersville Reservoir last Thursday evening.)  We had some really fun times together that I will never forget, he will be missed!  This morning in my personal studies I actually read Alma chapter 40.  I wish that I had my scriptures with me right now to quote some stuff but Alma 40 talks about death, and how the righteous will be received into paradise until the resurrection when everyone will be made back into their perfect frame. Zac is definitely in a better place, isn't it so comforting to know that families can be together forever, and that we will be able to see him again.  This morning before we left we were raking up some stuff in the backyard and I was talking to Elder Faumui, one of my ZL's and I was telling him about this chapter that I studied this morning and he asked me if I understand it fully, I told him I think I understand it and he told me I bet there is a lot more you can learn from it, I would read it again but this time pretending like you don't know anything about the chapter and he told me I will learn so much more.  Honestly I wasn't going to go re-read it, but I can promise you now that I am going to read it one more time, there is some really good stuff in there.

Well this week has been a really good week here in JamRock.  Wednesday and Thursday basically rained all day and so we weren't able to get very good numbers on that day, not from lack of trying tho, we were out in the rain it is just that people don't want to talk you when your soaking wet.  We still had fun though!

On Friday we were in Kingston all day long.  We had a mission conference and Elder J. Devn Cornish of the 70 and Elder Gamiet of the 70 were here.  It was such a good meeting!! There were so many profound and inspired words that were said at that meeting.  I wish I would have been able to record it because I just couldn't comprehend all of it at once. So we were also in Kingston Tuesday all morning long too cuz Elder Wright had a dentist appointment.  So between that, the rain Wed and Thurs and the mission conference our numbers were not very good this week.

Well I also got my transfer call on Saturday.  I was nervous about it I'm not going to lie.  But I will be getting Elder Mathewson, I don't know him very well but I did shake his hand on Friday at mission conference before I got the call that he would be my new comp and he seemed pretty cool.  It should be a good transfer. 

So we are still working with M. and S. really closely.  They are progressing very well.  We gave S. a baptism date this week and he did have one concern, his concern was what happens when he gets baptized and he stops going to his church? How will he be able to tell everyone else in his other church about the truth if he doesn't go back?  We were kind of surprised about that answer when we extended the date but I guess it is a better concern than any other concern I have ever heard before.

I did get the pictures that you sent me mom, I received them on Wed.  Thank you so much for them, everyone is growing up so fast.  I will answer those questions that you asked me detailed in a different letter but the church pays for everything for those missionaries.  (I asked him about native Jamaican missionaries who are called to serve in Jamaica.)  To go to the temple, the church pays for half the cost the first time they go and none after that, they usually go to Santa Domingo or Panama.  Sometimes they go to Miami if they have their visa.  I can buy everything that you asked me about in the letter, even the normal American brands, so I might have brought a lil too much stuff but I am glad I have it.

That's not fair that Mohler gets that much food! And those pics of Cody H are crazy! (Colton’s cousin, Cody Harris is serving in Oklahoma City while waiting for his visa to Argentina and is helping with the clean-up of the tornado destruction.) Well I hope that everyone has another great week, I love hearing from all of you.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Harris and Ebmeyer for the letters even tho I cannot always respond to them!! Love you!!

Elder Colton Harris