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

Monday, September 2, 2013

So many prepared people!

Wow so it is September already, I can't believe it.  I am still in Jamaica.  I got my flight plans and I fly out on Saturday at 8 am. I am pretty excited about that.  I have been serving in Boulevard Kingston this week and man it is just not Spanish Town.  It is a lot different.  It's more urbanized.  Spain was urban but there are just so many people in Kingston. It's good though.  They aren't working with as many solid people either like we were in Spain so we are trying to do a lot of finding!  The branch isn't as big, but it is still good.  I'm district leader right now too until I fly out this week.
So today we went shopping at this store that is exactly like Costco, had no idea that existed here.  Had automatic doors and a place to buy pizza and chicken bakes. It was cool, I wish I wasn't leaving other wise I would have stocked up. You even need a membership so we had a senior couple take us.  Then we went to Devon House, not really sure the hype behind that...tourists just like to go there.
So I got this really amazing story to tell you guys.  So last week I told you that we came into Kingston from Spain to go to Tracks and Records. BTW that was really really good.  But we also stopped by the mission office to get some stuff.  While we were there this young man walked in.  He was dressed pretty nice and said that he was looking for a job and asked if there was one available there.  I almost said, "No we don't have any jobs here.  Have a nice day." Man I am glad that I didn't say that.  Pres. Brown just looks at him for a minute then says take a seat. Pres just started talking with him.  He then says that we don't have an available job but we are missionaries.  He then went told us about why he walked into the mission office. He said that his dad was shot by police innocently a couple years ago because of mistaken identity. (That happens here regularly, they take a "Shoot now, think later" approach but that's besides the point).  He said that when he was being killed he yelled Jesus and when he saw the church logo that reminded him of his dad.  Well after talking for about a half hour he walked out of the mission office with a baptism date for Sept 21 and a return appointment.  So I come to find out that he lives in this branch that I am serving in cuz there are 3 branches in Kingston.  The sisters are teaching him and have gotten a lot more cool stories out of it.  So he came to church yesterday and he ended up bearing this awesome testimony, yeah it's his first week at church too.  He then says that before his dad died he was meeting with missionaries, so that got him even more excited about this church.  When the sister missionaries were teaching him the Plan of Salvation he said that his dad probably isn't in the celestial kingdom but he knows that he would want him to make it there. I wish I could be there when he learns about baptisms for the dead!! He also bore in his testimony, and I am pretty sure that he doesn't understand the significance of this but he said that after his dad died his sister said that he appeared to her and said that he wanted to be buried in white.  They thought that was a really weird thing to do, but they ended up burying him in all white clothes.  All I can say is that there are so many prepared people out there, this work is real and it is true.  I was stoked to see him at church yesterday.  It is another story just like S. from Spanish Town.
Well big up this week.  Likkle more. Next email is from Cayman!! So excited! :) Love you guys
Love Elder Harris